New York’s MTA Changes Service Cuts Plans

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times
March 23, 2010 Updated: March 23, 2010

NEW YORK—The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released revised service cut plans on Friday, after receiving feedback through nine public hearings attended by over 2,500 people, and thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters. The service cuts total $8 million less than previously stated, reducing the MTA’s savings from $101 million to $93 million annually.

The MTA announced that the V train line will be shut down. The line will be replaced with the M train, which will be rerouted to handle more customers in Queens and Manhattan. Parts of Brooklyn will be cut from the M line's service, and stops at Wall Street, Chinatown, and City Hall will also be eliminated.

“The enormous public reaction to the proposed cuts reminds everyone how fundamental the transit system is to New Yorkers and how painful any cut can be,” said MTA Chairman Jay H. Walder.

Some changes include keeping on route the Bx18 bus, which has the fourth highest ridership out of the initially planned eliminations, and reducing but continuing the service of the Bx33 bus, which has the third highest ridership of the initially proposed cuts and serves as an essential link between the Bronx and Harlem. The B4, B13, M22, Q14, Q42, S42, S52, S60, X1, and X9 bus routes will also be modified, rather than discontinued.

“While our budget deficit forces us to move ahead with most of the cuts, we were able to take a number of the most painful cuts off the table based on what we heard from the customers,” Walder said.

With nearly $800 million in deficit and the pressure to close about half of this gap in 2010, the MTA is looking toward other areas to cut from, such as reducing approximately 15 percent from the administrative payroll. The MTA is also toying with the idea of increasing the train fare by 7.5 percent to deal with the budget shortfall.

Following last week’s meeting, the MTA officials said that they will not cut the free student MetroCards due to the pressure from parents across New York City.