Statement by I. Daneek Miller, President/Business Agent, ATU Local 1056
January 3, 2011
The lack of adequate response to this weather crisis in the borough of Queens represents an abomination. Citizens abandoned, waiting on buses that have been stuck for hours – or, in most cases, never left the depot. No one has informed the riders that their wait is in vain.
While the mayor, his sanitation commissioner and the MTA chief go on television and before the media to fabricate the truth about their failures of leadership and management to the public touting what a great job they have done. No one questions the hard work of our brothers and sisters working the plows. Decisions about preparation, response, budget and deployment fall first on City Hall and at the MTA.
Queens is not Manhattan. Queens primarily depends on more on buses than subway and rail to move about. Queens is not level and many main roads, including bus routes have declines and inclines that require appropriate attention to maintain bus operations.
Interestingly, MTA opted to follow a reduced bus service schedule this week leaving most of the riding public unaware and over the objection of Local 1056. As a cost saving measure The MTA provided a reduced schedule of the almost one third less service in effect this week, (the week of the snow storm, December 27 – 31).
Hundreds of ATU members stuck on their buses for hours; some for more than 24 hours. Riders waiting for buses much longer than reasonable – even if these difficult weather condition. We want and demand answers. We call on our legislators to hold hearings. We call on City Hall to publicly release its (community/sanitation) district by district snow response plans and the actual implementation. The public ought to know!