MTA announces service cuts

December 15, 2008 3:40:54 PM PST
Another day, and another round of cost cutting for the MTA. And that means more bad news for subway, train and bus passengers. The proposed service cuts include night closings of some stations and longer delays for some trains. The alternative: a bailout from the state. But don't count on it.

The MTA's 2009 proposed budget calls for the overnight closure of five subway stations along the N and R line, two in downtown Brooklyn and three in lower Manhattan. That's bad news for Ralph Cordero - a florist who heads to work each morning at 5 a.m.

"It's a disaster," he said.

Among the system-wide changes, there will be a big reduction in the number of burgundy-clad station customer assistants, the elimination of 29 staffed subway booths and and the wait time for subways between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. extends from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

"The subways had their highest ridership in September since 1948," the Straphangers Campaign's Gene Russianoff said. "And the idea of running fewer trains, more crowded service and longer waits is incredible."

The MTA's finance committee approved budget proposal Monday morning. It now goes before the full MTA board on Wednesday.

"This becomes a really terrible holiday season for a lot our customers," the MTA finance committee's Andrew Albert said. "They don't know if their train or bus is going to exist next March or April. They obviously don't know what their fare is going to be."

"This is the best cut that this staff and board can do to reduce the pain to the least possible amount, given the circumstances that we're faced," MTA board chairman Dale Hemmerdinger said.

"It's become very difficult," subway rider Monica Garber said. "When I'm on the train, everybody is pushing. It's bad."

To read the MTA's report, CLICK HERE.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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