The death of numerous bus routes & subway lines inches closer & closer as each day passes. In reality there is nothing that will starve off the cuts from happening for the time being. However this did not stop 100 people from showing up at the Brooklyn Borough Hall to protest the MTA’s plans to cut the B39 & B51, two routes that serve riders between Brooklyn & Manhattan. Ben Kochman for The Courier Life via the NY Post has more:
An MTA plan to cut a key Brooklyn-to-Manhattan bus line would leave disabled people stranded, handicapped people and their supporters charged on Tuesday afternoon.
A crowd of 100 people rallied at Brooklyn Borough Hall to slam the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to cut the B51 and B39 routes, which transport riders from Downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg to Manhattan, giving people in wheelchairs an alternative to the subway.
The MTA says it must cut the B51 and B39 as part of a larger effort to close a yawning deficit. The B51 line was chosen because it is the 189th busiest bus out of 194 lines total, while the B39 ranked 181st.
As if on cue, as protesters and Borough President Markowitz called for the retention of both lines, chanting “Save the B51, save the B51,” a B51 bus pulled over to the curb with just one woman on it.
Markowitz dismissed the empty bus, and the MTA’s ridership statistics, as meaningless.
“What is important here is not the low ridership numbers, but the people who make up these numbers,” he said. “The people aren’t riding [the B51] bus because they want to, because the subway is actually quicker. People use this because they have no choice!”
Click here for the complete report.
I feel for those who need alternatives to riding the subway due to their health conditions. However for Mr. Markowitz to dismiss the empty bus & official MTA ridership statistics as meaningless shows how clueless he is. How can you defend the cost to operate two lines that carry next to no one on a day to day basis? The reality is that in these tough economic times you can’t. Honestly, even if times were good, it would make no sense to run such a service.
You see if the MTA’s finances were good, people like Mr. Markowitz would be the first ones to trash the MTA for making bad financial choices & wasting money. Yet, when they choose to do the right thing for the overall bottom line, they get blasted for it as well. Instead of finding & supporting legitimate funding solutions for the much beleaguered transit agency, people like Mr. Markowitz want to play to their constituents. The sad part is they get applauded by them when in the end if they opened their eyes, they would realized their so called representative is throwing them under the bus.
xoxo Transit Blogger