Bronx Assemblyman Wants Help From The MTA

The much maligned service cuts have received numerous attention from this blog & others like it across the web. The sentiment shared by riders has not only been on the web though as they have taken to the streets to protest in Brooklyn & Queens respectively.

If any one borough was hit hardest by bus cuts in particular, it was the Bronx. To one Bronx Assemblyman, they have gone too far & he is asking for help from the MTA for his constituents. Tanyanika Samuels of the New York Daily News has more:

The MTA service cuts that went into effect this week are hitting some bus riders where it hurts the most – in the wallet. Now one Bronx politician is hoping to help ease the pain.

Scaled-back services on the Bx20 in Riverdale and the Bx34 in Woodlawn amount to a 100% fare hike for riders who now have to take two buses before transferring to the subway during off-peak hours and on weekends, charged Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx).

He is proposing that the MTA offer electronic paper transfer cards so riders can transfer to the subway for free during the affected times.

“We just received the letter and we are reviewing it,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said yesterday.

Dinowitz said something has to be done.

“It was bad enough that the MTA board unanimously voted to curtail service on the Bronx 20 and 34 buses,” he said. “But it’s outrageous that they have added insult to injury by doubling the transportation costs of some commuters.”

Click here for the complete report.

I sympathize with riders across the region who have undergone a loss in service due to the MTA’s financial crisis. However, I can’t support Mr. Dinowitz’s idea as it is not fair. I feel the MTA did a good job of reducing service which affected the least amount of people. If you start asking the MTA to offer free transfers to constituents, it would be only fair for others to expect the same.

What about riders in other boroughs affected? If some Bronx riders can get free rides, why not people in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens? In the interest of fairness, the MTA should not agree to this form of help as it is only taking much needed revenue (albeit very little based on ridership statistics) away.

Instead, Mr. Dinowitz should sit down with his peers & help come up with sustainable funding solutions which would go a long way in truly benefiting his constituents.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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