No free ride
Mar 30, 2016 | 3802 views | 1 1 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor,

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic recently sent a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority requesting that they conduct a study on express bus service for her constituents. This would just be a waste of both money and time.

If funded, it would end up being nothing more than a placebo designed to placate demagogues who are not regular users of the numerous public transportation alternatives that have been available for decades.

Eighteen months ago, other local elected officials proudly announced securing $500,000 in funding for the Northeast Queens Restoration Study. Last fall, the MTA released a final report.

It contained some recycled ideas from previous studies, proposed restoration of some services cut under previous budget shortfalls, and very few new potential transportation improvements that can be implemented.

Don't be surprised if you end up with the same results from any "Express Bus Study" as well. Any study will just duplicate the Northeast Queens Bus Restoration study." The dollars paying for these studies would be better spent on real improvements instead of just lining the pockets of consultants.

All you will end up with is a series of press conferences and news releases designed to provide free publicity for elected officials to assist them in greasing the wheels of future elections.

In the end, it all comes down to the availability of increased funding for additional transportation service to serve residents of two-fare zones in Queens.

Operating subsidies are required to increase the level of service and reduce the amount of time one waits for a bus on existing routes. Same for adding more off-peak, late-night and weekend service.

Capital dollars are required for purchase of additional buses, off-board fare collection equipment, real-time communications systems, shelters and facilities. These are not new ideas that need to be studied once again.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, or in this case, a bus ride.

Better to spend time convincing Governor Andrew Cuomo to come up with $7.5 billion of the $8.5 billion in funding he promised the MTA for in 2015-2019 Five-Year Capital Program.

Sincerely,

Larry Penner

Great Neck

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Pedro Valdez Rivera
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April 01, 2016
Don't worry Larry: The MTA 2015-2019 Capital Program is fully funded through a late budget deal in NYS. However, the million dollar questionable remains: Where is the money coming from? 1) Not MOVE NY because many of the Queens elected officials and their middle-class constituents opposed it. 2) Not raising taxes because both Governor Cuomo and the Senate Republicans opposed it because it will put a financial burden on the middle-class. 3) Possibly borrowing bonds, with the MTA riders and the drivers who used the MTA operated crossings to pick up the tab. Remember that for every $1B in bonds borrowed, that's a 1% fare and toll increase in the top of the biannual 4% fare and toll increases for the MTA services.