At least a few bus routes will be spared as the MTA fine-tunes its "doomsday" budget plan, according to a published report.
Riders of the Bx34 in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, the B25, which runs through parts of Brooklyn, and the Bx10 in Riverdale, are three of the local bus routes that won't be axed on the transit agency's chopping block, reports the Daily News.
Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), for one, is thrilled. The Democrat campaigned eagerly, even making personal pleas to MTA Chairman Jay Walder, on behalf of his constituents to restore those bus lines.
“While Chairman Walder cannot confirm any definite decisions at this time, he did assure me that he will do everything possible to save those routes," Klein said in a statement. "In the meantime, I've launched a petition drive, requesting residents to sign letters explaining the importance of these bus services which I will personally deliver to the Chairman."
While the possible restoration of those bus routes is good news for commuters in Brooklyn and the Bronx, riders between Manhattan and Staten Island may get the short end of the stick. The MTA may target the more expensive lines to operate – the express routes – for removal as it looks to contain costs, reports the News.
The MTA budget, which the board unanimously passed in December, hopes to close the gap on a $383 million shortfall that unexpectedly cropped up in late 2008 as a result of lower than expected tax revenues and a court decision that gave transit union workers an 11.5 percent hike over three years.
Under the plan, the MTA would get rid of 21 local bus routes as well as the W and Z subway lines. People with disabilities would be affected by cuts to the Access-A-Ride program.