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MTA cuts would slice and dice Brooklyn

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Brooklyn is facing a full-blown transit apocalypse — include massive bus service reductions and the elimination of an entire subway line — thanks to severe cuts approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board this week.

The extreme measures, approved in a 12–0 vote on Wednesday, stem from the transit agency’s claim that it has a $383-million deficit, despite the recent fare-hike up to $2.25 per ride.

If you live in Brooklyn, you’ll feel the pain from:

• the elimination of weekday service on the B23, B25, B37, B39, B51 and B75 buses and weekend service on the B7, B14, B31, B45, B48, B57, B64, B65, B67 and B77.

• the complete elimination of Williamsburg’s Z express.

• reduced service along the A, D, F, G, N, Q, J, and M trains.

• the elimination of half-priced student fares.

•cuts in Access-A-Ride service.

As you might imagine, the borough’s power brokers went nuts.

“These ‘punitive’ measures fail to equitably spread the burden of funding public transit throughout the entire MTA region,” Borough President Markowitz said in a statement.

Critics of the Atlantic Yards project could not help but see a connection between Wednesday’s service cuts and the decision this summer to allow developer Bruce Ratner to pay only $20 million of his promised $100 million lump sum to build over the MTA’s Vanderbilt Yards.

“Transit riders should recognize that the MTA cuts are in large part due to this sweeter, sweetheart deal the authority needlessly cut this summer,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein. “It is not too late … to make the MTA strike a new deal with Ratner to pay what he committed to paying — $100 million at closing, rather than $20 million.”

If no savior emerges, the cuts would take affect in the spring.

Updated 4:38 pm, December 16, 2009: Story was updated to remove one suspected service cut. The MTA says that the Lawrence Street station on the R train will not be closed overnight.
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Reasonable discourse

Excuse me? from Downtown says:
Idiot Markowitz is going to complain about the MTA's cuts after having led the parade for six years for the MTA's less-than-half-price giveaway of the Vanderbilt Yard for Bruce Ratner's money-losing basketball arena? How 'bout instead of cutting service, we eliminate Marty?
Dec. 15, 2009, 10:33 am
JUdah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Oh, Please get off the Atlantic Yards scrap heap already. AY is the cause, oh please! How about your Billionaire, who always favor Manhattan to the detriment of Brooklyn?

Fact is this Country is accustom to balancing their books on the backs of the working class. Can you imagine elimination free rides for students. I thought we were trying to make education better? So You do something for education but you turn around and put another road block.
Dec. 15, 2009, 11:29 am
MTFNA from SI says:
The entire system is a failure. If the MTA wants to fix its budget: eliminate the monthly and weekly unlimited cards. Get a loan to develop and implement a distance-cost ride system. Its ridiculous that the cost to travel from the Rockaways to Van Cortland Park costs the same as to ride from 34th St to 14th St. The MTA is losing money on long-travel rides. It should be a cost-zone system similar to the LIRR. Each line should be analyzed by usage overall and by times of day. Cuts in service should be made by those statistics. And there are TOO many executives at the MTA. Cut executives pay or eliminate those positions. And can someone please hire an independent auditor on the MTA?!
Dec. 15, 2009, 1:43 pm
MTFNA from SI says:
Oh, I also forgot to mention Staten Island: The ferry is milked by tourists for its FREE ride. SI residents have to pay, why shouldnt the tourists? And the Staten Island RR is also free if you dont get off at the ferry terminal. (you only pay when you tranfer from ferry to railroad/bus/subway and vice versa) Again, loan invest in a turnstyle system for both RR users and ferry users. Its such a WASTE.
Dec. 15, 2009, 1:51 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
the MTA could find immediate millions of wasted dollars by eliminating Access-A-Ride...they are runnning around all over the city empty and wasting taxpayers money...it's free limo service for medicaid.
Dec. 15, 2009, 2:14 pm
Joe P. from Marine Park says:
A full-blown apocalypse for my family is being unemployed for ten months of 2009. Commute? What commute?

With all the protests against proposed construction in Brooklyn, I'll probably remain unemployed in 2010 too. With lawsuit after lawsuit, it makes no sense for me to keep going through my savings/investments. I have a family to support

For those of us in construction - from architects to plumbers to painters to electricians to inspectors to framers - we can't live in Brooklyn anymore. We have to take our families to wherever we can work to support them so our children can have a brighter future.

Brooklyn's stuck in the good old days. Who's going to be living here to ride the buses and take the subways next year?
Dec. 15, 2009, 3:07 pm
judah spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Have faith JoeP. the bonds for the arena have sold out!!!!
Hoooorah!!!!!
Dec. 15, 2009, 4:03 pm
joey bots from Kings says:
I hate to say it but this is what happens when you have a city that is run by liberal tax and spend politicos and a corrupt organization like the MTA. The citizens have to take back their city and hold these clowns accountable. That will never happen because this city is full of loyal Democratic sheep!!!
Dec. 15, 2009, 4:55 pm
Subway Lover from Brooklyn says:
Does anyone know where I can locate a full list online of the proposed MTA service cuts?
Dec. 15, 2009, 8:39 pm
Doug Biviano from Brooklyn Heights says:
How City and State's Elected Can Lead

Instead of cutting MTA service, including Access-A-Ride and student discounts for school kids, and other vital City and State services, elected city and state officials can simply lead. They can start by petitioning the federal government to bring home the federal tax dollars of New Yorkers for these vital services -- MTA being a vital economic engine -- by ending, not escalating, war in Afghanistan. The escalation will cost $35 to $50 BILLION more per year on top of the existing and enormous military and war budget. When we apportion the lower estimate of $35 BILLION for the population in NYC of 8.2 MILLION hard working folks, the opportunity cost to our local economy is almost $1 BILLION per year or almost three times the reported MTA deficit of $383 MILLION. After eight years of bloodshed and corruption, the promises of lasting gains from a surge in Afghanistan to fight an insurgency (not Al Qaeda) are illusory, whereas the price we pay in local service, treasure and blood of our children and theirs is real.

Local 'electeds' need to finally make the connection of how these military occupations of foreign lands cost us locally. We can only be taxed so much. If almost $1 TRILLION per year are siphoned off from our limited tax base for military budgets, war and misadventure, then the opportunity cost for NYC services and infrastructure investment is about $27 BILLION annually ($64 BILLION annually for NY State's 19.4 million population). Local leaders merely need to talk about this connection and quote these figures to the press, call other cities and lean on our congressional representatives. Published and broadcast over and over like any other political 'talking point,' the opportunity cost is so alarming that Washington will have no choice but to buckle in funding our cities, our people. Economic security is true security and we have a say in the matter. Let's get our priorities straight. So what's it going to be 'electeds,' politics as usual or real leadership and representation?

One last quick fact: Just one of our NYC apportioned annual contributions to military and war expenditures of $27 BILLION would almost pay off the entire debt of the MTA of $29 BILLION, thereby creating an annual operating budget surplus of about $1 BILLION dollars which could be allocated to the capital plan.

Population for apportionment estimates based on http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/3651000.html
MTA debt from http://www.mta.info/mta/investor/pdf/2009/debt_outstanding_091125.pdf
$35 BILLION per year for escalation based on estimate of $1 MILLION per troop per year in combat
Dec. 15, 2009, 11:44 pm
Barbara from Clinton Hill says:
Maybe some day, Brooklyn will rise up and separate from NYC and be its OWN city again, as it was when it was founded. Would be nice to analyze the NYC budget and see what the dollar flow is, in and out of Bklyn to Manhattan, and how much Bklyn gets back? Our Parks, streets and police undergo such budget cuts that we don't have the protection, maintenance of streets and public services that our population needs and deserves. Now cutting back on the MTA again just puts more salt on our wounds. Where are the marches, protests and community outrage?
Dec. 16, 2009, 1:17 am
West from Clinton Hill says:
It's time to privatize the system. The idiots that run MTA have no clue what it's like to commute on a daily basis.
Dec. 16, 2009, 7:46 am
Roger from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Barbara from Clinton Hill: Let's not forget that 25% of NYC taxes come from Wall Street, and almost all Wall Street firms are in Manhattan. By seceding from New York City, Brooklyn would lose access to this vast source of tax revenues and would have to rely even more heavily on property and income taxes on its residents!
Dec. 16, 2009, 10:58 am
jess from bk says:
Beh. They should really look into someone who's mindset is geared towards efficiency and accessibility; their marketing team seems to be really sticking to their corners...

Maybe hire someone from google or apple who can just sit there and think, "well a lot of the people need THIS, so why don't we figure out a way to make THIS as most efficient and simple as possible?"

It always gets complicated when making money becomes the bigger issue.

They should also hire someone from a successful nonprofit organization that would be able to better allocate their spending in order to pull themselves out of this "budget defecit."

Maybe shave $1,000 off the executive, and non executive checks. That would plug a considerable amount of the gap already.

Is it true they have unused floors in their buildings that they are refusing to rent? Or is that just another rumor?
Dec. 16, 2009, 4:36 pm
jess from bk says:
Beh. They should really look into someone who's mindset is geared towards efficiency and accessibility; their marketing team seems to be really sticking to their corners...

Maybe hire someone from google or apple who can just sit there and think, "well a lot of the people need THIS, so why don't we figure out a way to make THIS as most efficient and simple as possible?"

It always gets complicated when making money becomes the bigger issue.

They should also hire someone from a successful nonprofit organization that would be able to better allocate their spending in order to pull themselves out of this "budget defecit."

Maybe even consider shaving $1,000 off the executive, and non executive checks. Even on a yearly span of time. That would plug a considerable amount of the gap already.

Is it true they have unused floors in their buildings that they are refusing to rent? Or is that just another rumor?
Dec. 16, 2009, 4:37 pm
Horn from NY says:
Perhaps just starting a huge protest and trying to do a boycott of the mta. of course this is most likely wishful thinking because people wouldnt do it. but if it were possible it would be a great way to hit the mta where it hurt. i dont think there is any other way unless someone finds a way to bail them out. the fact that they are taking services away from children and senior citizens just sickens me though. you should never jeopardize a child's education or the ability for senior citizens to go anywhere. also the bx 14 cut is the meanest of all since people will have to walk a mile to get to the nearest bus or subway. just ridiculous.
Dec. 17, 2009, 3:02 am
Janice from Marine Park says:
If they stop B31 service on weekends, they'd better get the bike lanes and safe parking at KingsHighway B/Q station and the elevator finished soon.
Dec. 22, 2009, 4:04 pm

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