Statement of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
Before the MTA Board
January 27, 2010
I am William Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. The PCAC was established by the State Legislature to serve as the coordinating organization for three riders councils created by the state in 1981.
As several of our members and I expressed in Monday’s committee meetings, the PCAC has grave concerns with the proposed service reductions that were announced a week ago. While we will address the specific proposals over the next six weeks, we call upon this Board to recognize that these proposals have the potential to fundamentally modify the mission of the MTA and to change the nature of service for years to come.
Proposals such as large percentage reductions in West of Hudson service, the discontinuation of regular Ronkonkoma to Greenport service, modification of subway loading guidelines that will almost certainly affect service reliability as well as frequency, and restructuring of paratransit are changes in the essential nature of the service that the MTA provides.
Sometimes, we recognize the importance of decisions only in retrospect. This board must recognize that it is in the process of making fundamental decisions that will affect the MTA system for years to come. If these reductions are implemented as proposed, this simply won’t be the same system we have now.