Statement: “There Is Nothing Progressive About Using Wealth and Political Connections to Rob Working New Yorkers of Their Time”

Statement of Transportation Alternatives Senior Director of Advocacy Thomas DeVito in response to Tuesday’s anti-transit press conference led by West Village attorney Arthur Schwartz:
Joseph Cutrufo -
(646) 873-6027

“There is nothing progressive about using wealth and political connections to rob working New Yorkers of their time. The continued legal action against the 14th Street busway plan represents a bad-faith effort to threaten mobility options for tens of thousands, and sets a dangerous precedent, proving that anyone of means can use the court system to circumvent the democratic process. Further, without a dedicated busway, the M14 bus -- the city’s slowest -- will continue to lose riders to car services, which will result in even more congestion and pollution in the neighborhoods along 14th Street.” 

14th Street Facts

  • The 14th Street busway would provide a faster ride across town for anyone who lives, works, or plays in the neighborhoods served by the M14 bus.

  • The average New York City bus rider earns $28,455 per year. Arthur Schwartz’ estimated net worth is $20 million. You could fill 12 MTA buses with average bus riders, and their combined annual earnings wouldn’t add up to Schwartz’ net worth. 

  • Roughly 27,000 New Yorkers ride buses along 14th Street. The M14 is the city’s slowest bus, traveling at an average speed of 4.3 mph. In the first month that the busway pilot program was stalled, 14th Street rush hour bus commuters have lost over 8,000 hours to traffic congestion that would have been mitigated by the busway. 

  • M14 bus ridership is falling precipitously, by 6.2% in 2018 and 7.1% in 2017. 

  • Seventy-five percent of New York City bus riders are people of color, 55 percent are foreign born, and 12 percent are elderly. 

  • 77% of Manhattan households do not own a car. In the neighborhoods along 14th Street, 89% of workers commute via transit, walking or biking.