On March 4th, elected officials, union members and concerned citizens gathered at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan to participate at the MTA public hearing on proposed service cuts.
LIRRCC member Larry Rubenstein stood in support as NYCTRC’s Sharon King Hoge delivered the Council’s testimony against the proposed cuts. Issues raised were the restructuring of the north-south and lower east side bus services, discontinuing service of the W train and midtown bus services which would create overcrowding and longer comute times. There was also a call for a long-term solution to the MTA’s financial problems including congesting pricing and/or tolling East River and Harlem River bridges, increasing parking charges, a modest gasoline tax, and a one time use of federal stimulus and MTA pay-as-you-go caital funds.
While this hearing was in process, another hearing for Metro-North riders was being held in Suffren, New York, in Rockland County. Rockland and Orange County speakers, many representing organizations and commuters, laid out reasons why service should not be cut — creation of service gaps, lack of service compared to East of Hudson and the Payroll Mobility Tax. Testifying for MNRCC was Randy Glucksman a regular rider of the Pascack Valley line.
The last hearing will be held on March 8 at Riverhead, Long Island. See the hearing schedule on the MTA website.