The Disabled Say MTA’s Cuts Violate The Law

The doomsday is here for many bus & subway routes around the city from cuts in service to the complete elimination of others. NYC bus riders are definitely getting the pinch, especially in some southern Brooklyn communities like Bay Ridge.

While many different types of riders will be inconvenienced by the cuts, one group in particular arguably are getting the worst of it. The group I am referring to are the disabled who feel the cuts approved violate the law. To prove their point, multiple lawsuits are being worked on against the much maligned transit agency. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:

MTA bus and subway cuts and layoff plans remained on track Friday, but foes of the service slashes were taking their fight to court.

Lawsuits – including one filed Friday in Brooklyn Supreme Court and another being drafted for federal court – could ultimately force the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to restore a significant portion of the cuts, which transit officials maintain are necessary to close budget gaps.

More than 100 bus routes are being eliminated or scaled back. Some ran for the last time Friday, and others make their last runs this weekend.

“What are we supposed to do? Stay in our homes?” asked disabled activist Jean Ryan, who relies on bus service because none of the subway stations in her Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, neighborhood is accessible to wheelchair users.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Ryan and two other disabled women Friday demanded that the MTA explain why cuts to 11 southern Brooklyn routes don’t violate state law requiring equal treatment for the handicapped.

The judge refused to stop the cuts but set a July 22 hearing date, lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo said.

Click here for the complete report.

These lawsuits should prove to be quite interesting as I can somewhat see both sides to the case. On one hand the MTA needs to cut costs & should look to eliminate redundant or hardly used service. However on the other hand, disabled riders are already at a disadvantage in terms of transportation options.

The subway is not a legitimate option for many due to their condition & the lack of access. So they should have legitimate service available to them. This starts to turn into a battle of putting a price tag on the worth of such trips versus the cost to provide them along with service to non-disabled riders.

I do have a problem with some of the stupidity that is being posted in response to this article. I should not be surprised considering the source of the comments but I can’t help but take issue with some of them. While I can agree that there are too many people in our society that have a sense of entitlement, I feel grouping disabled riders with them is completely misguided.

Most disabled riders did not ask to be that way or to have their lives inconvenienced. They should not be compared to students getting free rides on the back of the MTA & down to the core, the taxpayers. Disabled riders have as much right to quality service as I or anyone else who is not. To feel that such service is an entitlement is complete idiocy.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] The service cuts that have kicked in over the last few weeks starting with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) & Metro-North Railroad have come full circle with the official beginning of new bus & subway routes today. While I’ve examined different facets of these cuts, it is clear to see that one kind has been getting the most press via upset riders. The cuts I am referring to are for buses around NYC which have angered riders so much that they have protested or filed federal lawsuits. […]

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