Facing at $750 million budget shortfall, the MTA has proposed reducing A, L, N, Q, 1 and 7 subway service, as well as eliminating five bus lines and the W and M trains. The agency also proposed ending free rides for city school students.
Commuters, parents, and students spoke for hours to the committee, pleading their case amid rising jeers in hopes the board might find alternatives to the drastic cuts.
Adolfo Abreu, a New York City school student, entreated MTA chairman Jay Walder to attend a meeting of the Urban Youth Cooperative on March 17, where they will discuss other ways of saving money without taking away the passes that allow students to get to and from school for free.
After a wave of chants from the crowd demanded the agency head for "Answers!," Walder nodded his head and agreed.
Earlier in the day, mass crowds gathered in the streets for a rally. Some carried colorful posters that proclaimed, "Don't close my station booth" and "I'm a straphanger and I vote."
Last night's meeting was on the heels of discussion at a MTA public hearing Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Museum during which four were arrested for disorderly conduct.
The board is expected to vote on the cuts at their March 24 hearing.