Summer 2002, p.10

T.A. and Straphangers Winning Better Bus Service

Thanks to a grant from the JM Kaplan foundation, Transportation Alternatives is working seriously on bus issues for the first time in our history. T.A. has extensive experience dealing with the Department of Transportation and the NYPD, and Straphangers (straphangers.org) is the city's premier transit advocate. Together our groups are ideally suited to taking on the complexities of improving bus service, which requires dealing with traffic, street engineering, policing and transit service. Improving bus service both immediately benefits transit riders and helps reduce car usage in NYC in the long term.

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T.A. Supports MTA Takeover of City's Bus Fleet

Workers at three of the seven Queens bus companies walked off the job on June 25th, leaving 115,000 Queens bus riders scrambling for options.
The dispute is over health care benefits and the City's financial support of the lines. Long time observers believe the strike will hasten the takeover of the City's "franchise" bus fleet by the MTA, which is a state agency.

Dear Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Chairman Kalikow:
If the private bus lines in Queens are turned over to the MTA, we urge that:

  • City subsidies be continued at present levels.
  • The City increase its capital funds to the MTA to help the private bus system purchase much needed new buses and equipment.

Given the city's failure to competitively bid the contracts for the private lines, we support their takeover by MTA New York City Transit.

MTA New York City Transit already faces a large deficit in 2003. Asking NYC Transit to take over the private buses--effectively increasing their bus operation by 25%--without maintaining city subsidies will create even further pressure to raise fares and cut service. Replacing city support with new state subsidies would be the wrong way to go since additional state aid will be needed in 2003 to keep fares affordable and maintain service levels.

Transportation Alternatives
Straphangers Campaign
Tri-State Transportation Campaign

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