MTA Service Cut Leaves Swimmers Stranded

By Maria Eugenia Miranda
|  Thursday, Jun 24, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Bronx Kids Get Floating Pool, But No Way to Get There

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This summer, families in the South Bronx will have to walk 11 blocks through an industrial area full of 18-wheelers and prostitutes to reach one of the borough’s swimming pools because a shuttle service was eliminated.

Budget cuts forced Metropolitan Transit Authority officials to discontinue a seasonal shuttle bus from the 6 train to Barretto Point Park, where an 82-foot floating pool docks.

“In light of our budget crisis we had to make some cuts, and that was one of our cuts,” said James Anyansi, a spokesman for New York City Transit.

The summer shuttle to Barretto Point Park, which ferried about 120 passengers on weekdays and 340 on Saturdays and Sundays, cost the MTA $100,000 a year to run, according to Anyansi. The MTA had to slash service to help close an $800 million gap in its budget. All service changes will take effect by June 27.

Anyansi said that because the Bx6 bus drops customers off close to the park, officials didn’t prioritize keeping the shuttle service intact.

’“We had public hearings, and I don’t know if those particular concerns were taken into account,” said Deidre Parker, a spokeswoman for New York City Transit, of the treacherous walk swimmers will now have to take from the Bx6 bus stop to the pool.

Budget woes also forced the city parks department to keep pools in several boroughs closed, except the Bronx.

"It's a 10-minute walk," said Anyansi of the trek from the Bx6 stop to the waterfront park.

Still, some South Bronx residents like Carmen Morales, 62, say they won’t be risking it to get to the pool. Morales said her grandchildren will have to cool off closer to home – in the shower.

“Just turn on the cold water in the shower and tell them get in the tub and play,” Morales told Metro.
 

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