Two days ago, I wrote about the MTA’s plans to potentially cut its share of funding for Long Island Bus due to its budget crisis. The oft-neglected service has been routinely shafted in terms of funding by the very county it mainly serves.
Current Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano who ran on a platform of understanding the needs of proper transit funding & had made this statement:
mass transit has to be an integral part of the County’s plans… the [LI Bus] subsidy is small compared to the number of people who rely on public transit to get to work, make a living, support their families, and put that money back into the local economy.
has done a complete 180 on his position. Instead of coming up with solutions to help properly fund the service, he has resorted to the time tested game of “Let’s Blame The MTA” & see how much of it sticks. This has led to the MTA to call the county out for their lack of proper funding. Earlier today, the MTA got an ally on this sentiment from the borough of Staten Island. NBC New York has more:
Transit funding makes strange bedfellows.
And today in an unusual pairing, the MTA joined Staten Island in attacking Nassau County.
Let’s backtrack: this summer the Transportation Authority slashed 11 bus routes on Long Island to help close an $800 million budget gap. Now, Staten Island’s Borough President said Nassau County taxpayers should fork over more money — or be prepared to lose more service.
“Staten Island residents are tired of paying to move these commuters.” said borough president Jim Molinaro.
“Nassau County pays just $9 million each year for their bus service while the MTA provides a whopping $40 million.” Molinaro added.
“And where does that money come from? It comes from the $11 toll on the Verrazano Bridge. Staten Island is one of the highest -tolled communities in the Country,and it’s mainly because the MTA uses our toll money to support transportation services in other areas. It is outrageous that our residents, who are City taxpayers, have money taken out of their pocket to pay for Long Island commuters.”
And guess who agrees? The MTA. As spokesman Jeremy Soffin put it, “We can no longer afford to assume Nassau County’s responsibility for funding its bus system.”
Not surprisingly, Nassau County disagrees.
Click here for the complete report.
Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro has a point in that Nassau County should have to pay more for its service. The amount of money that have contributed to help subsidize the service is well below what it should be considering the benefits it provides to their residents. It comes as no surprise that leaders in Nassau County disagree. They have always had an issue with reality as the fantasy world they live in works better for them.
What Nassau County voters & riders should do is demand action by the county or send them packing come reelection. Sometimes elected officials need a reminder that they were voted in to serve the people, not their family, friends, associates, & themselves.
xoxo Transit Blogger