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Unkindest cuts! MTA makes its austerity plan official

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified its slash-and-burn service cut package on Wednesday morning, hoping that Draconian bus and subway alterations will close a $383-million shortfall in the agency’s 2010 budget.

A couple of bus line eradications — including the B51 that runs through Downtown and over the Manhattan Bridge, and the B39 from Williamsburg to the Lower East Side of the island — were a particular slap for Borough President Markowitz, who rallied on Tuesday to curtail the loss of those “lifelines.”

“These routes may not be the most heavily used, but they are absolutely needed for riders with disabilities or who are elderly,” Markowitz said. “There is simply no reasonable way for people with mobility and accessibility issues who cannot take the subway … to get to Manhattan without these vital bus routes.”

The cash-strapped agency reviewed public comments and made a few changes since its original cost-saving proposal made in December, but officials could only save so many lines — the proposal that was approved today made cuts based on “unused bus and train lines,” or those that have alternate transportation along their lines.

Here’s a roundup of important changes for Brooklynites — both the ones that are no longer being considered and the ones that still are — that will be implemented in June:

Cuts that will still be made:

Trains

• Reduced Saturday service on the D, F, G, J, M, N, Q and R trains, and reductions on Sunday for the A, D, F, G, N, Q, and R trains.

• The G will rarely run deeper into Queens than Court Square. On the other hand, there will be increased service on all G trains during evening hours.

Buses

• No weekend service on the X27 express from Bay Ridge to Downtown and the B24 from Williamsburg to Greenpoint. The MTA suggests that X27 riders already use the R train on weekends (since the two lines run parallel), and that the B24 has seen a decline in ridership. The MTA notes that users of the weekend B24 — which runs to east Greenpoint, up into Queens and back — could “transfer” to another bus or train, possibly referring to the B43 (which runs north and south on Manhattan Avenue) or the B48 (which runs east and west on Nassau Avenue).

• No more service on the B51 and the B39 due to low ridership. The MTA suggests taking the J or Z trains over the Williamsburg Bridge.

• There will no longer be overnight service on the B67, which goes from Windsor Terrace, through Park Slope, to Downtown; the B64, which goes from Bay Ridge to Coney Island; and the B65, which cuts through Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights on its route between Crown Heights and Downtown.

Cuts that will not be made:

Trains

• Service on all trains will not be reduced from 20 to 30 minutes from 2 am to 5 am.

• Service will not be reduced on the A line on Saturdays.

Buses

• The B25 — which runs from DUMBO to East New York along Fulton Street — bus was taken off the chopping block after politicians complained because that line will be the only one to service Brooklyn Bridge Park.

• There will be service on the B48 from Prospect Lefferts-Gardens to Greenpoint on nights and weekends.

Updated 6:15 pm, March 31, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

ziggy from bensonhurst says:
These cuts are NOT deep enough.
Until the MTA can eliminate the TBTA bridge and tunnel tolls, these cuts are meaningless.
March 25, 2010, 1:59 pm
lestoila from coney island says:
Hows does i get me a free card. tha welfare offace got me this here computha and says i cen get me all kindsa stuff fo free.
March 25, 2010, 2:02 pm
harvey from brighton says:
I am an old man and I don't like prune juice.
March 25, 2010, 2:05 pm
Irina from Bay Ridge says:
We need X 27 on the weekends even if it's less busses. But for claustrofobic people like me who cannot take the subway it is important to know that we can get to the City on the weekends.
March 25, 2010, 3:22 pm
jim bob from carroll gardens says:
pff like the F or G ran on the weekends before these cuts. A few weeks ago at the smith and 9th stop I saw literally 8 or so MTA workers shoveling the platform, a job that could be done by 1 person. The other problem was that there were only 3 shovels so the rest of the idiots were just strolling around chatting. Those are the cuts that need to be made!
March 27, 2010, 1:53 am
Jole Carliner from Kensington says:
Hi: Although you show Kensington on one of your neighborhood maps, it's not listed in your headings. When you click on map you get Park slope, which does not include us. It would be great if you actually ran a news section that covered Kensington and Midwood.

Is there a reason that Boro Park isn't covered at all? I know they are difficult but politics there-ie cb 12- are very secretive. Any light you can throw on its operations would be greatly appreciated. And why not a police blotter for the 66th preciinct, which covers Kensington, Midwood and Boro Park. Plus the 70th, which contains a section of Kensington.
Hope to see the change reflected in future issues.
JOLE CARLINER
March 29, 2010, 2:39 pm
marie R. from red hook brooklyn says:
i use the 77 bus to work and to get to the R-train..i also could use th 75 bus but they are cutting off both routes how are we to get to work, 5th ave, the metodist hospital?
May 6, 2010, 1:42 pm
jr from south bronx says:
eliminate bridge and tunnel tolls? they should be doubled or tripled if it means avoiding subway and bus cuts and fare raises.
Jan. 16, 2011, 4:14 pm

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