MTA Passes New Doomsday Budget (Updated)
The MTA board just voted to pass that new budget with service cuts. MTA Chairman Jay Walder "stressed the preliminary nature of this proposal," says Second Avenue Sagas, which live-tweeted the meeting. SAS says board members stressed their "legal obligation to pass a balanced budget for 2010" before year's end. There'll be meetings, hearing, etc. in the months to come to try and find alternatives.
No word yet as to how soon the cuts will be implemented, nor when the M and Z trains and the 21 bus routes proposed for removal will be shut down.
Update: Another round of voting is needed before the cuts go through, as is another round of politician outrage...
Incoming Public Advocate Bill de Blasio takes a think-of-the-children tack, expressing alarm at the possibility that with their free passes rescinded, we may see "students missing school because their families can't afford the extra cost of a Metrocard." "What do you want [schoolchildren] to do?" asked councilmember Charles Barron. "Jump the turnstiles and turn them into criminals?"
Transportation Alternatives says "drivers must share the burden" and asks for the revival of the bridge tolls previously considered and rejected to obviate the cuts. "Straphangers and businesses have borne their fair share," they say in a statement, "and now it's time for drivers to step up to preserve the transit system that keeps our region's roads moving."
If passed again, the cuts will start kicking in this summer.
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