(The following letter was sent to the Jay Walder, chairman, MTA, re: City Island express bus service.)
Dear Mr. Walder,
Out of the 830 express bus runs that serve the Bronx on a daily, weekday basis, the only community that will have its express bus service cut completely is City Island, the most isolated community in the city.City Island is served by only four runs a day – two Manhattan-bound in the morning and two Bronx-bound in the evening.This means that Co-op City, Parkchester, Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck, Morris Park, Wakefield, Williamsbridge, Riverdale and the majority of express buses serving Bedford Park will have virtually unaffected, nearly around-the clock service for seven days a week. But, City Island will now have no service for the first time in 35 years.
The MTA claims that it will be saving $204,000 per year by cutting these four runs.Each year the MTA provides 1,000 runs, or 500 round trips to City Island.By using these figures, it means you are saying that each hour-long trip costs the MTA approximately $200, even after you collect fares which average more than $100 collected per trip. This means that you are saying that each hour-long trip costs more than $300.With all due respect, I find this hard to believe. But if that is the case, imagine what the service you are providing to the other Bronx communities must be costing.For example, according to your posted schedules you provide the following number of daily runs to these Bronx communities: 140 to Co-op City; 100 to Pelham Bay; 102 to Throggs Neck; 95 to Williamsbridge, 88 to Wakefield; 72 to Bedford Park; 50 to Parkchester and 183 on the two Riverdale runs.
Each of these communities also benefits from weekend service: 159 weekend runs serving Co-op City; 80 weekend runs serving Pelham Bay; 83 serving Throggs Neck; 87 serving Williamsbridge, 91 serving Wakefield; 62 serving Bedford Park; 52 serving Parkchester and 176 serving Riverdale.
I wonder if you can make public the number of riders for the 5 a.m. bus leaving Co-op City on Saturday mornings or the 5:15 a.m. bus leaving Throggs Neck.I am sure it is only a handful of people. But yet there is no talk of cutting these runs or even adding a minute or two to the intervals between buses during certain hours on each of these lines.I am sure you can save more than a dozen runs by doing just that and nobody would really notice an extra two-minute wait.But instead of doing that, you single out one small isolated community for which you only provide two rush hour buses each way and you cut them altogether, forcing approximately 80 working men and women to find alternate and more time-consuming means of transportation to their jobs each day.This hardly seems just or fair.If these cuts are necessary, they should be shared across the board so each community feels a minor inconvenience.As it stands now, one community is sharing the brunt of everything when it comes to cuts in express bus service in the Bronx.
William J. Stuttig