The big news over the last 24 hours is the MTA’s intention to cut funding to the often neglected Long Island Bus due to its current financial crisis. The story has made headlines throughout online & offline media outlets. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is the latest to look into it via an entry by Ryan Lynch on their “Mobilizing The Region” blog:
News reports are confirming the worst fears of Long Island transit advocates: that the MTA may cut all of its funding for Long Island Bus, decimating the system. According to yesterday’s Newsday, the MTA has the cut on a list of budget proposals to be unveiled on Monday. The $40 million reduction would equal a third of the Long Island Bus budget.
The move would be the latest in a series impacting Long Island bus riders. Nassau County cut $1.6 million in this year’s budget and County Executive Ed Mangano has failed to plug the gap or address Long Island Bus’ long-term funding challenges. The county’s cuts, coupled with those from the state and MTA, forced elimination of 11 bus lines and reduced service on eight other lines last month.
County Executive Mangano’s only public response to the news was to blame the MTA and criticize the payroll tax approved last year to help fund transit. Hopefully, his response was a one-time misstep; it was certainly very different from the tone he took during last year’s campaign, when he said “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.” Ultimately, cooperation between Mangano, the MTA, and the state will be the only way to save the bus system.
Click here for the complete entry.
The TSTC brings up a very good question about the future of Long Island Bus considering the state of future funding. Ryan’s entry highlights the hypocrisy of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano who ran on a platform of how important transit funding was in Nassau County.
Like Mayor Bloomberg, his words were hollow as once he was elected, a beneficial follow through on his words failed to materialize. As is usually the case, it seems the liar will get away with it while the innocent riders get shafted. This comes as no surprise considering the history of transit funding in New York throughout history.
xoxo Transit Blogger