It was a rough two hours for MTA board commissioners this morning: tears and tongue lashings in public testimony followed a budget presentation that confirmed all of their worst fears.
“I think I speak for all the board members when I say, ‘Wow,’” said Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger after hearing the full slate of proposed cuts.
Without specifying the amount of a fare hike for New York City transit—besides a jump in express bus fare from $5 to $7.50—the 500-odd-page budget proposal includes a raise in “yield” of 23 percent, factoring in resulting reductions in ridership. Significant cuts include 2,269 jobs; the Z and W subway lines (with some corresponding line extensions to compensate); the entire station customer assistant program; and weekend service on 37 bus routes.
The board won’t take a final vote on its proposed budget for 2009 until its next meeting in December. But the proposal’s fare hikes and route cuts, leaked a few days ago by the Daily News, already had people hopping mad. read more »