Within the last couple of hours, the MTA Board officially approved budget cuts in order to trim down a $400M+ budget shortfall. Lets first take a look at a brief report by Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York Times:
The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted 11-2 Wednesday afternoon to implement a package of service cuts, including the elimination of a subway line and dozens of bus routes.
The service reductions, to be phased in starting in June, will save $93 million a year, part of an effort by the strapped authority to dig itself out of a $400 million budget shortfall.
Under the plan, the W train will be eliminated and the M line will no longer run in Lower Manhattan and south Brooklyn. Bus riders will lose 34 routes throughout the five boroughs, including 13 express routes. Several other bus lines will be truncated or rerouted.
Click here for the complete report.
Now lets take a look at the report from Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News:
The MTA board gave final approval Wednesday to a sweeping package of bus and subway service cuts that will mean longer waits and more crowded slower trips for millions of straphangers.
The service cuts – set to begin this summer – include eliminating 33 local and express bus routes, halting overnight service on another 15 routes and ending weekend service on 16 routes.
Two subway lines will disappear from the map, and waits for many off-peak subway trains will increase by two minutes, officials said.
The vote came after riders, transit advocates, union officials and a few politicians urged the MTA to find some way to maintain current levels of service.
“Today is truly a sad and disappointing day for the straphangers of New York City,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.
But some blasted city and state officials for not adequately funding mass transit. “The decisions that were made that led us to this point were made in City Hall and Albany,” William Henderson, executive director of the MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Council.
“We all need to demand our elected officials give public transit the attention it deserves.”
Transit officials said the MTA lost approximately $750 million in expected revenues because of state funding cuts and declining tax revenues.
“This is really going to change the New York way of life, and I don’t think it’s going to be pretty,” said Andrew Albert, a non-voting rider representative to the board.
Click here for the complete report.
While I have not been able to update the blog, I have been doing my best to keep up with the happenings in & around the MTA. I like many others am not surprised that these budget cuts were approved. When you sit down & look at the actual numbers, it would be impossible for the cuts not to be approved. While I & many others completely understand that our elected officials lack of providing adequate funding is one of the major problems, it would not change the current situation.
I wish I had been able to analyze the revised service changes in an entry but at this point, that opportunity has at best come & gone. However you could always read the .pdf of these changes by clicking here.
I expect at some point this afternoon, the MTA will issue a statement about today’s board meeting. Lastly I want to say that I am sick & tired of the cliche responses I see posted to articles involving financial matters with the MTA. In the Daily News article linked above, one of the cliche responses focused on the MTA having two sets of books. This claim has been disproved for quiet some time now. However the media brainwashed this lie so much, it still resonates to this day. Enough already!
xoxo Transit Blogger