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Letter to the Editor-MTA Proposals

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(The following was testimony from Community Board 10 o n the MTA 2010 service reduction proposals.)

Dear editor,

Good evening, my name is Kenneth Kearns and I am the District Manager for Bronx Community Board #10 and I am joined tonight by Mr. John Marano, Chair of the Municipal Services Committee and Mr. Andrew Chirico, a Board member.Bronx Community Board #10 represents the communities of Country Club, Throggs Neck, Pelham Bay, City Island, Co-op City, Zerega, Waterbury/LaSalle and Westchester Square.These reductions will have a marked negative affect upon the quality of service offered to commuters in these areas.

From our perspective, the complete elimination of the BX #14 serving the Country Club and Pelham Bay communities is the most troublesome proposal.Country Club is a geographically isolated community that is home to a grade school with five hundred children in grades K-8 and a six hundred bed nursing home, the community at large and these facilities have only the BX #14 bus as their sole link to the IRT #6 Train at Pelham Bay.Pelham Bay is a large modern station that has escalator and elevator service. As a terminal station for the #6 Train, this station serves a crew headquarters and it is a lively, well lit station that is a welcoming environment for commuters. Under the agency’s proposal, commuters from Country Club wishing to use the IRT #6 Train would have to access this train at Middletown Road.This is a station that is in deteriorated condition. New York City Transit officials acknowledged the deterioration of this station and have included it on its list of stations for major capital improvements for the budget out years.Currently, Transit officials are in the process of performing minor renovations to the platform, canopy, and mezzanine areas of the station. These minor renovations are more of a housekeeping nature, than a true renovation, which will not happen for several years.To access the fare vending areas, commuters must climb two steep flights of stairs, seniors, mothers with young children and anyone who is physically challenged will have great difficulty in climbing these stairs.Additionally, Middletown Road, according to the New York City Department of Transportation is a seriously deteriorated road.The Board, during the Borough Wide Budget Consultations with the New York City Department of Transportation, was told that this road would have to be rebuilt from its base.Given these circumstances, having the BX #8 access the IRT #6 Train at Middletown Road, should be re-evaluated.

The agency’s proposal also calls for the complete elimination of the BxM7B Express Bus Service on City Island. Again, this is a geographically isolated community with access to the IRT #6 Train at Pelham Bay. The agency claims that commuters could access the train and the BxM7A Bus at Pelham Bay.On paper this appears to be an effortless transfer from local bus service to the subway and Express Bus Service. However, the agency has not commented on the need for an increased number of BX # 29 buses arriving and leaving City Island to catch the express trains and buses leaving Pelham Bay. The Proposal also calls for the restructuring of the BX #25, BX #26, BX# 28 and BX #30 in Co-op City.The Proposal calls for splitting the BX #28 into two branches, one serving the northern section of Co-op City and extending to Bay Plaza, under a new designation known as the BX #38.The Proposal also calls for a section serving the southern end of the cooperative, with a designation of BX #28.Additionally, the Proposal calls for the rerouting of the BX #30 out of Asch Loop.For generations, the wish of the residents of Co-op City for a one seat ride to the IRT #6 Train was only realized by the QBX #1 bus, formerly operated by Queens Surface Transit Corporation, a bus that was always characterized by crowded conditions and infrequent service.The scenarios under the present proposal, do nothing to accomplish this goal.The removal of the Asch Loop segment of BX #30, does not seem to accomplish anything more than, removing a segment of this run.

The elimination of school passes and increases in access-ride fares affect the most vulnerable of populations, and should be removed from consideration.

In the final analysis, the MTA is a large regional transportation organization that has historically been assembled from formerly private rail and bus lines and State owned transportation entities.It is a model that is over forty years old.It is replete with duplicative services, three separate bus companies and three commuter rail lines, each with its own procurement, administrative and personnel structures.Community Board 10 respectfully requests that the agency look to an internal analysis of its operations, before it enacts these changes.

Thank you for your attention and consideration in these matters.

Kenneth Kearns

Community Board 10

District Manager

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