By MAKEET FINCH
City Officials and transit advocates from The Riders Alliance Group protested on Thursday against MTA service cuts to several bus lines throughout the city, gathering in a vocal demonstration in Downtown Brooklyn
The protestors urged Governor Cuomo to reconsider cuts to the MTA’s budget which would affect major bus routes throughout the morning and evening which means longer wait times and crowded commutes.
At an emergency board meeting this summer MTA Chairman Patrick Foye announced a $31 million budget shortfall, requiring the cuts.
“We are hurting people who need this system not as a luxury but as a requirement,” saidBrooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Black and brown and poor New Yorkers depend on this system; they don’t have the luxury of getting on their apps and calling Uber or Lyft, this is our Uber! This is Our Lyft!”
With congestion pricing ha√ing passed the State Legislature and scheduled to go into effect in 2021 transit advocates said that this was not the time to cut service because bus would see more use. The protest was held at the B38 bus stop at Cadman Plaza East and Tillary Street.
“Most importantly what we need is the Governor to find a revenue source to make sure that they are filling the gap in the operating budget,” said Senior organizer Stephanie Burgos-Veras. “Because if we do not have the money to run our subways and buses riders cannot get around”
City Counselman Daneek Miller recalled driving the B54 which runs from to Downtown Brooklyn to Ridgewood and the B38 which runs from Bushwick to Downtown Brooklyn. “Transit is the great equalizer and redesign cannot be disguised for consolidations and cuts,” he said/
“In a time in which transportation effects our economy, impacts our public policy and even impacts where we build and where we develop,” said Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley,
“Never should we as public elected officials should we ask for those residents who rely upon these services to do more”
Photo by Markeet Finch