Officials: City bears too much of the brunt of doomsday cuts
New York City is getting hit hardest by the MTA’s “doomsday” service cuts.
With sweeping reductions to bus and subway service looming because of the agency’s budgetary mess, some MTA board members are outraged that city riders are shouldering most of the burden.“These cuts are going to change the New York way of life,” said board member Andrew Albert Monday, when the MTA voted to advance the drastic proposal.
More than two-thirds of service cuts proposed to help fill a $383 budgetary gap next year come from city transit services. The plan includes the end of discounted student fares, less off-peak service and the elimination or scaling back of four subways line and dozens of bus routes.
Long Island Rail Road riders, meanwhile, bear 10 just percent of the reductions, while Metro-North only has 5 percent of them, according to agency materials.
“I’m very, very concerned about the axe falling disproportionately on (NYC) Transit,” said MTA board member Doreen Frasca.
The MTA scrambled to come up with the cuts in a week and they could undergo more tweaking, officials said. The agency scrapped the closing of four downtown subway stations, which were part of the proposed doomsday cuts that were mostly eliminated because of a state bailout this year.
The MTA’s budget woes are slightly better than first expected because of revised state information, officials said. The cuts will translate into the loss of 700 jobs through layoffs plus more through attrition, and nonunion employees face a 10 percent pay cut in April.
The full board will vote on the budget Wednesday, with a handful of members likely to vote against it. Public hearings must be held on the cuts, most of which would take effect around July.
Rage among straphangers and parents is brewing over the cuts, with three protests already planned for today alone.“They should add more lines, not take them away,” said Caitlin Woych, 26, a W rider who will lose her subway line under the cuts.