Disabled Riders Face Devastating MTA Cuts

It's the end of the line for the B-39

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    Disabled rider Mildred Escobar

    The ride home from work would be a challenge for 40-year-old Mildred Escobar, even if the B-39 bus weren't on the chopping block.

    She already takes three buses -- the M15 up Bowery, to the B-39, to the B-24 out to her home in Greenpoint -- and the commute takes her 90 minutes.

    But the middle portion of her trip will soon be gone for good. The MTA is scrapping the B-39, which runs from Delancey Street in Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn,  to save a million dollars in tough economic times.

    That's not good enough for Escobar. "I was angry," she told NBCNewYork. "If they cut that bus, there's no way to come into the city."

    The MTA counters that disabled riders do have an option: The J,M and Z stop at Marcy Avenue has an elevator, allowing a passenger in a wheelchair to access the station.

    But critics like Anthony Trocchia, another disabled rider, say that's not enough because many of the Manhattan stops, like Essex Street, have no handicapped access.

    "I'm not getting on because there's nowhere to get off," says Trocchia.

    Another option for riders worried about the cut is access-a-ride, which provides transportation for disabled commuters, by reservation only. For more on the program, click here: http://www.mta.info/nyct/paratran/guide.htm