Devastating LI Transportation Cuts Continue
By Neal Tepel
September 22, 2010
At recent hearings and press conferences Jay H. Walder, MTA chairman and CEO has said that, “the state’s economic crisis demands that the MTA move quickly and decisively to cut costs, and that is exactly what we are doing. These layoffs are extremely painful, but we must live within our means and make the tough decisions that businesses and families across New York are making.”
The MTA operates New York City and Long Island buses and subways as well as suburban rail lines, bridges and tunnels. This huge operation is now moving to reduce over 1,000 of the agency’s 70,000 employees. Most of those expected to be terminated in the next few months live on Long island and New York City. This past week over 100 LIRR workers became unemployed with hundreds more expected to be terminated.
LIRR cuts are extremely disturbing to those that use this essential transportation each day. Off-peak service has been cut on several lines. Transportation to and from Brooklyn between midnight and 5 a.m. has been eliminated. Cancellations include 14 trains on weekdays and 32 on weekends.
On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano released the 2011 County Budget which translated into another nightmare for Long Island bus riders. The County’s proposal to maintain its contribution at $9.1 million keeps funding of LI Bus at its lowest point in seven years. This coupled with MTA planning to eliminate its entire $26 million contribution to LI Bus. To continue a spiral of disaster, County Executive Mangano has proposed to privatize Long Island’s 47 bus lines that serve 104,000 daily riders.
The MTA is blaming the state for a budget shortfall, Counties are refusing to pay their fair share and New York State is out of money.