Sunday, February 8, 2009

Concerned about our buses?

The MTA intends to raise our transportation fares in 2009, AND to make deep and probably irrevocable cuts in service to our neighborhood, including
  • the complete elimination of the M10 bus line
  • elimination of overnight service on M104 and M96, and
  • decreased service on west side subway lines.
Click here for a fuller list of proposed cuts.

Come to a STATE SENATE HEARING on these cuts
Thursday, February 19th
3 PM
at the State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., 8th Floor
hosted by State Senators Bill Perkins and Martin Malave Dilan.
Click on the link for more information and to sign up to testify.

Come to a Budget & Legislative Forum at Goddard-Riverside Community Center
Wednesday, February 25th
2-4 PM
593 Columbus Ave


Sign a petition. Many neighbors have just signed a petition addressed to our New York State legislators, asking them to increase funding to the MTA so as to minimize fare increases and eliminate proposed service cuts.

PETITION

To: Our New York State Legislators:

We community stakeholders of the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Harlem, and nearby neighborhoods, call upon you to vote in favor of the Ravitch Commission recommendations, so that the MTA will not be forced into dramatically raising our bus and subway fares, while at
the same time eliminating our M10 bus line entirely, eliminating overnight service on our M96 and M104 bus lines, reducing service on our 1, B, and C subway lines, and raising fares for Access-A-Ride users.

Seniors, disabled persons, and working people of our community depend upon dependable and affordable bus, subway, and Access-A-Ride service as their lifeline. We are counting on you, our elected leaders, to preserve our public transportation now.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

To sign on, click the link below.

http://www.petitiononline.com/cash4mta/petition.html

Credit goes to Cynthia Doty (District Leader for Three Parks Democrats), Paul Bunten (the Park West Village neighbor who founded Westsiders for Public Participation concerning the construction), and Cathy Unsino, a disability rights activist, for working on this issue and developing and publicizing the petition.

Our elected officials have added their voices to our petition (below) with their own letter:

Letter from Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito, Assembly Member
Daniel O'Donnell, State Senator Bill Perkins, and Congressman Charles
Rangel:

February 9, 2009

Mr. Howard H. Roberts, President
MTA/ New York City Transit
2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

Dear Mr. Roberts:

As elected officials representing the vast majority of constituents
who ride the M10 bus, we write to officially voice our steadfast
disagreement with MTA's intent to eliminate this transportation
option. This bus provides local service between Harlem and Penn
Station, and is to our knowledge, the only bus line that runs along
Central Park West.

This elimination would adversely impact many of our constituents; in
particular the elderly, the school-age youth who ride the M10 on a
daily basis, and the disabled. New Yorkers fought long and hard to
gain accessibility on buses for the disabled, as not all train
stations [are equipped] to serve this population. This elimination
would seriously set back the progress made in service to this
vulnerable population; and directly impacts their quality of life and
that of our senior.

As today's statistics support, the public's need for buses and trains
keeps growing. In the past fifteen years bus ridership has increased
by 64 percent. The decision to diminish service is both contrary to
these facts, and in keeping up with a growing City population.

While recognizing that these are challenging economic times, your
decision to completely eliminate this bus route as a means of cutting
cost is seen as yet another attempt to close a monetary gap on the
backs of the disenfranchised. The majority of the riders this
decision disproportionately targets and low and moderate income New
Yorkers; and we simply cannot allow this to happen.

Whatever factors MTA weighs in when making this decision, we trust
that with the mounting outcry from the many riders impacted and their
supporters, that MTA will reconsider this injurious decision. We
welcome the opportunity to discuss this serious matter further.

Cordially,

Melissa Mark Viverito, Council Member, District 8
Daniel O'Donnell, Assembly Member
Bill Perkins, Senator
Charles B. Rangel, Congressman

cc:
Speaker Shelly Silver
Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith
Helen Rosenthal, Chairperson / Community Board 7
Patricia Jones, Chairperson / Community Board 9
Hon. Franc Perry, Chairperson / Community Board 10

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