Friday, March 19, 2010

New York MTA yields (a little) on transit service cuts

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After a series of meetings attended by 2,500 concerned customers, the New York MTA is sticking with most of the service cuts that stirred up such a ruckus when they were announced earlier this year and for the time being at least it is not withdrawing he most controversial change of them all—a proposal to eliminate free rides for students.

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The MTA did ease some of its proposals, but in a statement Friday acknowledged that little has really changed as it prepares to submit its budget balancing plan to the MTA board next Wednesday.

MTA said its revised cuts “reduce the savings achieved by the service cuts from approximately $101 million annually to $93 million, adding $8 million to the approximately $400 million budget shortfall not yetaddressed by cuts. A related proposal to phase out student MetroCards will be taken up later in the spring to allow more time for the State and City to fund that program.”

MTA Chairman Jay H. Walder commented: “While our budget deficit forces us to move ahead with most of the cuts, we were able to take a number of the most painful cuts off the table based on what we heard from our customers.”