Albert Baldeo calls on Albany to lower MTA fare hikes and service cuts 



Despite our protests, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently voted to enact a series of fare hikes and service cutbacks, presumably to keep the transit system from going broke.  MTA Board members artfully called the combination of fare increases and slashing bus, subway and commuter rail cuts a disaster but said they could no longer wait for lawmakers in Albany to rescue them. The votes, painfully taken in three parts, approved fare hikes, toll increases and service cutbacks, despite spirited opposition. Every block in New York City will feel the squeeze!

On behalf of the millions of tax payers and working families, who depend on this system, we demand that Albany intervene, and a compromise be reached before the subway and bus fare hikes take effect May 31. It is troubling to see how we have failed to appreciate and respond to the massive transportation threat millions of New Yorkers face every day. Public interest is paramount, and we need to work together to implement a real and viable mass transit plan that does not create yet another reason to drive residents from our state.

Unless Albany acts, this decision will affect millions of New Yorkers in the coming months, as base subway and bus fares will jump to $2.50. Seven-day passes will jump from $25 to $31, 14-day passes will increase from $47 to $59 and the cost of 30-day Metro Cards will rise from $81 to $103 effective May 31, 2009, while commuter rail fares will increase on June 1. Tolls on the authority’s bridges and tunnels will also go up, with the increase taking effect in mid-July. The service cuts are far reaching. They include the elimination of 35 bus routes and two subway lines, the W and Z. Off-peak and weekend subway, bus and commuter rail service will also be cut back.

In our community, the elimination of the Q56, Q74, QM 23 bus routes, the reduction in service QM24 and QM12 bus routes, the elimination of the Z train and the reduction in service to the J train will cause enormous burdens on residents.


The Q56 which runs down Jamaica Avenue, an essential business district, needs an MTA bus. The J train which runs above Jamaica Avenue should not be the only option for public transportation on Jamaica Avenue, since the elevated train stations are not handicap accessible and in some stations the stairs to the elevated J trains are in a dangerous state of disrepair.



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