This week, community leaders and residents will attend a very important hearing regarding an ill-advised proposal by the MTA to eliminate the BX14 and BXM7Bdaily bus services,the BX34 weekend bus service and vital MTA Stu-dent MetroCards. I know how vital these services are to thousands of Bronx resi-dents and will do everything I can to pre-vent these cuts from happening.
I’ve met with MTA chairman Jay Wal-der personally to convey my concern and outline the devastating impact these cuts would have on our communities.Since January, my office has collected nearly a thousand petitions from residents de-manding that the MTA find alternative solutions before cutting vital services of residents who have limited public trans-portation access. These petitions will be hand-delivered to each of the panel mem-bers at the hearing, along with my testi-mony which will be read by a member of my staff, as I will be in Albany on the hearing date.
My goal is to make clear that the pro-posed rerouting of the BX8 service is no substitute for the BX14 service, which provides a direct route to the Pelham Bay station, serving the Spencer Estate, Coun-try Club and Pelham Bay communities. The BX8 does not provide a direct route to Pelham Bay station. Forcing New York-ers of all ages to walk long distances, in scorching summer heat or freezing win-ter temperatures, to the Pelham Bay sta-tion is simply unacceptable. In addition, the cuts would have a devastating effect on the already struggling businesses along the BX14 route, further impacting the economic vitality of that community.
The possible elimination of the BXM7B service and BX34 weekend and overnight routes would put a heavy bur-den on the residents of the Woodlawn and City Island communities. While the BX34 weekday service would be spared, many of my constituents work weekend and overnight shifts, including union workers who make up a large part of the Wood-lawn community. The BX34 also provides a direct route to Montefiore Medical Cen-ter which is relied upon for vital medical services. For City Island residents, the BXM7B is the only direct service that can get them to and from Manhattan for work.It also provides a vital economic service by carrying Manhattan residents, who bring in much needed revenue to area restaurants and shops, on a weekend trip to beautiful City Island. These cuts would not only impact transportation, the ability for residents to keep their jobs and receive vital healthcare, but will directly impact the economic vitality and poten-tial for future job creation in these com-munities.
Finally, the hearing will also address the elimination of the MTA’s Student Metrocards which our children depend on daily to get them to and from school. This puts even more pressure on families who are already struggling to make ends meet.
I urge the MTA to see clearly the im-pact that these cuts will have on individ-ual New Yorkers – these are real people with real families, facing real struggles. The result of these cuts would cripple communities, leaving students, working people and senior citizens stranded. On behalf of the residents of the 34th Senate District, I call on the MTA to re-evaluate this poorly thought out plan and devise one that fulfills the goal of providing transportation service that New Yorkers can rely upon.I urge all residents to at-tend the hearing on Wednesday, March 3rd at 6PM and add your voice to this call.
New York State Senate Deputy Ma-jority Leader