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Straphangers in for a bumpy ride

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STRAPHANGERS IN FOR A BUMPY RIDE

'SEVERE' FARE HIKES, SERVICE CUTS SETONLY A BAILOUT CAN SPARE US: MTA

 

 

Transit officials yesterday unveiled their plans for gargantuan fare hikes and Draconian service cuts - promising longer waits and more crowding on subways, cutbacks on dozens of bus routes, higher fares and tolls, more graffiti-strewn stations, and the loss of about 2,828 jobs.

 

The MTA's CEO, Elliot Sander, called the proposed cuts "very severe, and very harsh."

 

"On an emotional level, we are every concerned about the impact on human beings," he said.

 

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Among the service cuts would be the elimination of the W and Z lines, the shortening of the M and G lines, the loss of 12 bus lines - including the M8, which connects the East and West Village - and cutting back the routes of dozens more buses.

 

The board will vote on a final proposal in December, after the Ravitch Commission, a panel of experts who will suggest how politicians can fund the MTA, releases its report. Public hearings on fare and toll increases - which would have to raise income by 23 percent - will take place in January.

 

According to some calculations, the single-ride fare could increase to $2.50 and monthly unlimited MetroCards could reach $100 - although it was still unclear what the board would decide.

 

The only thing that can save the system from those higher fares and reduced services is an unprecedented bailout package from state and city lawmakers, Sander said.

 

"March," Sander said, "is a drop-dead time," when riders would begin to see some of the service reductions take effect.

 

Some moments of drama spiced up the mostly by-the-numbers presentation at MTA headquarters on Madison Avenue. Carlos Sabater of Harlem was hauled off and issued a summons for heckling Sander.

 

Sabater, an advocate for commuters with disabilities, asked, "Instead of raising fares and hurting regular commuters, why don't you lay off some executives and the board members?"

 

Speaking at his home last night, he said, "They told me to shut up. I said, 'It's an open forum and I could speak.' Two tall men dragged me out."

 

Service cuts were suggested only on subway and bus lines that have little ridership and have alternates nearby, officials said.

 

Also affected would be the N line, which would skip five stations at night, and the Q, which would extend to Astoria to replace the eliminated W.

 

Union leaders and rider advocates said the reductions would hurt the MTA in the future.

 

"We understand there's going to be a fare increase at the end of the process," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. "What the riders don't want is a whopping fare hike that puts more of the burden on the riding public."

 

Board member Andrew Albert said new rules allowing as many as 18 more people on already-packed subway cars "means longer dwell times at all of the stations, and then everyone will try to press in, which is going to wreak havoc on on-time performance."

 

Other proposals included increasing the time between all lettered subway arrivals by two minutes on weekends, and increasing the time between all trains by 10 minutes between 2 and 5 a.m. About 29 staffed subway booths would be closed.

 

On the Long Island Rail Road, there would be several train reductions and eliminations, including canceling one Long Beach train and one Belmont train when there are no stakes races.

 

The length of the bus lines proposed for service cuts are varied. Some lines transport riders across just a few neighborhoods. Others, like the Q56, run nearly the length of Jamaica Avenue from 171st Street past Bushwick Avenue, moving people to and from work and other businesses.

 

"This is unimaginable. This is cutting people's livelihoods," said Councilman John Liu, a Queens resident and chair of the Transportation Committee.

 

Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday, "The MTA is exactly like the city: They can't spend money they don't have."

 

 

Additional reporting by C.J. Sullivan

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this guy makes 350k a year........Elliot Sander that is...... if we reduce his salary by 250k over 5 years it is a 1.2 million dollar savings....and the guy still will make 100k...this is like the Detroit big three......the congress man from NY said....what is up with you guys coming to Washington in your "private jets" asking for a hand out?? Maybe you guys should have called one another and "jet pooled"...i'm mean really somebody heard that Washington is giving away free money and so you guys jetted up to come here with tin cans out?? Something is wrong with this picture all around!!!!

 

Who knows what other top exec. make at the MTA but it seems to me they should look at themselves a little more before looking to do drastic things......

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Does anybody know the buses that will be eliminated? Especially those of Brooklyn. I'm a bit worried for buses in my neighborhood, that are not highly used, such as the B71.

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this guy makes 350k a year........Elliot Sander that is...... if we reduce his salary by 250k over 5 years it is a 1.2 million dollar savings....and the guy still will make 100k...this is like the Detroit big three......the congress man from NY said....what is up with you guys coming to Washington in your "private jets" asking for a hand out?? Maybe you guys should have called one another and "jet pooled"...i'm mean really somebody heard that Washington is giving away free money and so you guys jetted up to come here with tin cans out?? Something is wrong with this picture all around!!!!

 

Who knows what other top exec. make at the MTA but it seems to me they should look at themselves a little more before looking to do drastic things......

 

Yeah, why don't we just give the guy the salary that a B/O would get. Has he ever thought of cutting his own salary?

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Yeah, why don't we just give the guy the salary that a B/O would get. Has he ever thought of cutting his own salary?

 

No he hasn't thought about cutting his own salary b/c he's selfish/greddy and love driving his fancy cars and living in his fancy home

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