Statement of the New York City Transit Riders Council
Before the MTA Board NYC Transit Committee
July 23, 2012
On behalf of riders I want to thank the MTA, New York City Transit, and MTA Bus Operations for developing the package of service restorations that were released last week and are to be discussed at the Board this month. We appreciate all of the staff work that went into developing this package and want to acknowledge Board Members Allen Cappelli and Mitch Pally, as well as our rider representatives on the Board, for raising the issue of service restoration and keeping the need to restore service before the Board and management.
There are a number of noteworthy service restoration and enhancements in this package and I won’t take the limited time available to discuss them all. Suffice it to say that the restorations, such as the restoration of the B39 bus and the restoration of the end of the Q24 bus will have positive impacts on riders. We are also pleased with the retention of the additional G line stops. In addition, the proposed service enhancements, including the new routes that are being proposed, are positive responses to changing development patterns and demands for service. Of course these changes do not restore all of the service that we would like; for example, the increased subway loading guidelines that were put into place are still there, making off-peak trains more crowded. On balance, however, these service changes are a very positive initiative
While I note the positive impacts of this package, it’s important to recognize that the fundamental cause of the service cuts that these changes reverse is funding. Without $141 million of State funding cuts in 2010, followed by $100 million the next year, these service reductions would not have been necessary. Public transportation is an essential service, and the elected officials who make decisions on MTA funding must recognize this. We hope that our elected officials will take to heart the consequences of funding decisions that they make in the future.