Here's the history of the 2010 service cuts, which were approved in late March by the MTA.
Back in May 2009, riders beat back a "doomsday" package of MTA transit service cuts. These awful cuts would have affected hundreds of thousands around the city, whether subway or bus riders or those people with disabilities who use paratransit. There was a price, however. Fares went up in June.
Well, shockingly, many of these cuts are BACK!
The MTA has proposed these steps in response to bad financial news. In December, the MTA was hit with a $143 million cut by the state Legislature; a new transit tax was projected to perform $100 million below expectations; and a court decision upheld a labor arbitration award ($91 million).
In January and February the State told the MTA its 2010 deficit was another $400 million larger, even if the agency adopted the proposed service cuts and ended student MetroCards. Here the culprit was lower-than-expected estimates of what dedicated transit taxes would raise. This included proceeds from a new MTA-dedicated payroll tax. As of March 2010, the MTA has not said how it will meet these additional financial problems.
The Straphangers Campaign understands that many riders view the MTA's finances and performance with great skepticism. And even the new MTA Chairman - Jay Walder - vows to "take this place apart" to find new savings. But, in our view, these bad financial events are not the MTA's fault.
The Straphangers Campaign and the City Council have proposed blunting the service and paratransit cuts, using $121 million in available federal stimulus funds and $50 million in operating funds the MTA has budgeted to pay for capital projects. Many U.S. transit systems have opted to use up to 10% of federal stimulus money to keep the trains and buses running, such as Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Seattle.
As well, a coalition of environmental and transportation groups in New York – indeed, groups across the United States – are pressing Washington for a new Jobs Bill containing money to help keep the subways, buses and commuter rails running.
Among the cuts that were proposed are to:
In March 2010, riders, parents and students got their chance to have a say. The MTA held hearings in each borough with 2,500 people in attendance.
In late March, the MTA approved most of the package of cuts, although they restored $6 million in bus service. While the worst bus cuts were rescinded, all of the subway changes remained and the vast majority of bus cuts were also kept. The cuts will be implemented over the next few months unless the City and/or State government intervene.
More information on the revised service cuts can be found at http://www.mta.info/news/pdf/NYCT_Revised_Service_Changes.pdf
The Facts: 2010 MTA Transit Service Cuts (pdf)
These fact sheets were prepared prior to the MTA's March 24, 2010 vote:
The Facts: Cuts in 2010 Bus Service (pdf)
The Facts: Impact of Subway Service Cuts in 2010 (pdf)
Take Action Now!
• Tell the MTA What You Think About the Cuts.
• Sign the City Council's petition.
• Contact Governor Paterson. Tell him how much transit service means to you.
• Contact Mayor Bloomberg. Tell him how much transit service means to you.