"...one way or another, nearly every bus, subway and commuter train rider will be affected."1
That's how the New York Times described the devastating service cuts that an MTA committee recommended yesterday.
The cuts will mean longer delays, 2 subway lines (the W and Z) eliminated, and dozens of bus lines canceled or shrunk. Worst of all, hundreds of thousands of school kids will lose their free Metrocards, and service for the disabled will be severely cutback.
Tomorrow, the full MTA board will vote to make the cuts final. We've got 24 hours to make sure they know that New Yorkers oppose this plan.
Sign the petition, then forward this email far and wide:
The petition says: "The MTA should use its available funds, not cut services millions of New Yorkers depend on." We'll deliver every signature we receive to the MTA board before the vote tomorrow.
Advocates for transit riders say many of the cuts proposed by the MTA aren't necessary if the transit agency uses available stimulus and reserve funds to close the gap.2 But the real problem is in Albany and City Hall, which have both betrayed riders time and again by shortchanging the MTA.
It's time for the MTA Board to push back and stand up for riders. Tomorrow, they have the chance to do that -- and if they don't, we will have a public transportation disaster on our hands.
As longtime commuter-advocate Gene Russianoff put it, "Riders have every reason to be mad as hell."
Almost 3,500 New Yorkers have signed the petition to the MTA in less than 24 hours. But we need to keep the momentum going. Speak out, before it's too late - and we'll make sure your voices are heard tomorrow.
WFP Executive Director
1) "M.T.A. Proposes Severe Service Cuts; 2 Subway Lines May Be Eliminated" New York Times. Dec. 14, 2009
2) Letter to MTA Board members, Gene Russianoff, Dec. 10, 2009