Today’s news:

MTA fare hikes and service cuts unfair to the city’s working class

I was upset to learn of the cuts in transit service and the possible fare increases the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning in the city. How did things get to this point?

I realize we are facing an economic crisis, but there must be other, less painful ways to cope with these hard times. I believe the state and federal governments must do more to help and I hope Gov. David Paterson and President Barack Obama will come to the aid of the people who use mass transit. We all know the city does not get its fair share of tax revenues back from Albany or Washington, D.C.

We should encourage people to use mass transit. Curtailing service and raising fares will force many people back into cars to get from one place to another. This will increase air pollution and traffic congestion. We need financial help for mass transit, just like the help the banks, financial institutions and car companies are getting from the government. I hope the president’s stimulus package will help address mass transit concerns.

It is my understanding that the MTA is proposing to cut Long Island Rail Road service on the Port Washington branch to a train every hour rather than every half−hour on weekends and during non−peak daytime hours on weekdays. This is a bad idea. These trains are heavily used when they run every half−hour. Can you imagine how crowded they would be if they ran every hour?

Also, the MTA is planning to do away with or curtail bus service on several Queens bus lines. In northeast Queens, the Q26 will be discontinued and the Q76 will not have service on weekends under the proposal. Working−class people use these and other lines all the time and rely on their continued operation.

With today’s economy, many city residents cannot afford to keep a car. They rely on bus and subway service only. Not only will the MTA hurt these people by limiting or ending service, but it will hurt city small businesses. People will not be shopping or going out as often if service is cut and fares go up.

I hope the MTA will rethink some of these proposals. They will only create more hardship for city residents if adopted. We are already suffering enough from this recession.

Henry Euler

Bayside

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