(The following letter was sent to MTA President Andy Byford.)
Everyone agrees the Bronx Bus Redesign is an undertaking that is long overdue. While it may be arduous, it is incumbent on our civic leadership to proceed with utmost caution to ensure maximum benefit with minimum disruption to Bronxites through this undertaking, My office has received considerable feedback regarding the proposed changes as they involve the removal of bus stops, the removal of bus routes and the creation of additional transfers that will cause many of our most vulnerable population serious concern. We have also shared a list of questions and concerns about some of the proposed changes, the most pertinent of which are included within.
In particular, it is imperative that we pay close attention to the proposed redesign’s effect in Co-op City. With East Bronx Metro-North service soon to be available. I urge you to reconsider cutbacks to the Q50 LTD within Co-op City which would also allow access to this new station.
Another major concern of Bronx residents and my office is the proposed changes to the BXM4 line. The current plan would see BXM4 service along Grand Concourse rerouted, because the MTA argues that there is subway access supplementing that route. While this is true, the BXM4 is a well-traveled express bus along its entire route utilized by many elderly riders, Most of the stations along the 4 and D trains do not have ADA access and forcing those residents to utilize stairs, particularly on one of the most overcrowded train lines in the City, does not make sense.
The MTA can still provide faster express bus access to the northern neighborhoods currently served by the BXM4 through a new route, while not compromising access for our most vulnerable populations in the southwest Bronx.
I do want to commend you for taking on this very serious challenge in revamping our bus lines. It is my hope that you take into account the opinions ofthose that use this vital service and the new development that is occurring within our borough. For instance, a few of the bus stop removals proposed in Soundview and other areas do not take into account the growth that is occurring in our borough.
It is imperative that we seek to provide for the over 16 percent of Bronxites that are commuting primarily by bus on a daily basis, while also adapting to the meet the changing needs of our borough and to keep pace with the major progress the Bronx is experiencing.
Ruben Diaz Jr