Clear Display Of Nepotism

The last post I made on this blog before I disappeared in January for a few months was about a bus reroute which clearly benefited the then newly appointed MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger. Now months later, the bus reroute situation has come back into the spotlight. Here is the report from AMNY’s Matthew Sweeney:

A handful of shopping malls get mentioned on MTA bus maps, like Gateway Center Mall and the Staten Island Mall, but only one belongs to the son of MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger.

During a hearing on bus routes Thursday, Councilman John Liu, who heads the council transportation committee, suggested that the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, Queens, gets preferential bus service because of the father-son connection.

The mall opened in the spring of 2006 with one bus line, the Q29. Since then, the Q54, was rerouted to stop there. Another route, the Q45, is expected to begin serving the mall in September, pending NYC Transit’s approval next week.

“It’s amazing how this request for the Shops at Atlas Park sped through,” Liu said.

If this is not a clear display of nepotism, i don’t know what is. This is just another example of someone in the higher ranks of the MTA abusing their power to either their own or someone they care about/owe a favor to’s beneit.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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I think you have swallowed the Glendale NIMBYs’ spin hook, line, and sinker. The mall is a major new destination here in Queens, and it makes perfect sense from a transportation perspective to connect this trip generator with one of the largest transit hubs in the area.

I live in Jackson Heights, and I would use the Q45 if it enabled me to reach the mall. By complaining about more buses on their streets, Glendale residents are limiting the range of destinations I can reach. Shame on Liu for trying to get headlines for himself while working against the interest of Queens bus riders!

Hello TM,

Thank you for leaving your thoughts. As far as swallowing in the Glendale NIMBY’s spin goes, I respectfully disagree. I am all for improving our routes to benefit riders however I can to a degree understand how people don’t want every area filled with mass transit unless it is absolutely necessary.

My main issue is with the timing of these changes. There are more legitimate route additions/changes that need to be made around the city. Such changes have to go through a process which usually takes awhile yet somehow these changes seemed to cut to the front of the line. This in my opinion reeks of nepotism & that is not fair.

[…] ATCO Properties has been mentioned on this blog. The initial mention of them concerned the visible nepotism that was occurring with the rerouting of a bus route to serve a shopping mall owned by the company. […]

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