And The Point Is Exactly?????

The transit news front has been kind of slow lately. Most of the news centered on the back & forth blame game on why no funding solution has been created to starve off the MTA’s financial crisis. The biggest news centered on a detailed time line of the proposed cuts in the agency’s “doomsday scenario“. Rich Schapiro of the New York Daily News had more in this report from Wednesday’s print edition:

The blueprint for doomsday is here.

The MTA on Tuesday unveiled a detailed time line for its withering service cuts to bus and transit lines – changes that will dramatically alter the face of public transportation in a city that thrives on it.

The cuts, starting this summer, will affect commuters from across the five boroughs:

1. On June 28, 21 local bus routes will be axed and weekend service on a total of 10 subway lines will be drastically reduced.

2. On July 26, all roving station agents will be cut, a total of 29 token booths will be eliminated and four subway stations will be shuttered overnight.

3. On Sept. 6, express bus service lines will be cut.

4. On Dec. 6, the Z and W lines will be terminated, and the G and M routes will be shortened.

The service cuts aren’t the only bad news: sky-high fare hikes will hit the subways and buses May 31, raising the cost of a single ride from $2 to $2.50.

Click here for the complete article.

Speaking of cuts, the B23 is one of the 6 Brooklyn bus lines up for elimination if these cuts become an executed reality. So with that in mind, can someone explain why two new bus shelters were installed along the line’s route? James Barron of the New York Times had more in this Friday report:

Maybe it was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. Two bus shelters on Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn — one at Ocean Parkway, the other at East Fifth Street — were replaced this week with shiny new steel-and-glass structures that can keep passengers on the B23 bus line dry on rainy days and unmussed on windy ones.

But the B23 is one of six bus lines in Brooklyn that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it will eliminate unless it gets a financial lifeline from the State Legislature.

Asked why new shelters were being installed along a line that could soon disappear, Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, noted that the proposed service changes were not definite. “But we will postpone any further installations on affected routes until the situation is clarified,” he said.

The shelters are being installed under a $1 billion contract with the Spanish company Cemusa, which is also replacing 330 newsstands and installing 20 public toilets citywide. The first of the Cemusa bus shelters was installed in December 2006; the Department of Transportation says more than 1,680 replacement shelters have gone up. Cemusa will put advertisements on the structures, which city officials call “street furniture.”

Other passers-by watched the crew at work and wondered why the two bus shelters had been replaced if the B23 was to be discontinued.

“I think it’s a waste of time, and it’s a waste of money,” said Moses Villaneuva, a stock clerk at a nearby store until he was laid off a few weeks ago. “They should be spending their time on something more important.”

Click here for the complete report.

I am all for the installation of new bus shelters for riders. However I am with Mr. Villaneuva in thinking this is a waste of money & time if the line does indeed get cut. Why not wait until the outcome is known & either proceed with or cancel the installations. One does not need to be a genius to figure out that is the way to handle this situation. Hopefully these installations won’t be done for nothing. However with our leaders focusing on the blame game instead of concrete solutions, I have serious doubts about anything good coming from this ordeal.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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