Today’s news:

Protest proposed MTA transit cuts

As we begin the new year in earnest, we face a challenge to mass transit service that helps make a difference to our quality of life in eastern Queens. Certain cuts proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to address its revenue shortfall make no sense and the effects fall on our young, seniors and hard-working residents who work off-hours.

Whether or not you personally use these transit services, you likely know someone affected: a child, a parent, a co-worker, a neighbor, a worker at a store you shop at.

Just look at some of the cuts that affect eastern Queens. This includes eliminating the Q75, no overnight service on the Q30 and ending weekend service on the Q31, Q76 and Q79. Other lines slated to be shut down or cut include the Q26, Q56, Q74 and Q84. Subway lines affecting Queens residents that face cuts or elimination include the G, M, Q, W and Z.

I urge all concerned residents to speak out, testify against the service cuts at upcoming hearings and press Albany and City Hall to look for efficiencies in the MTA budget that cover its budget needs. As chair of the City Council Finance Committee for eight years through 2009, I always believed in the primacy of preserving core services.

Last year, the MTA package included plans to conduct a forensic accounting of the MTA and its operations. No doubt this long-overdue review will identify areas such as outside contracting, administrative duplication and outright waste that any public agency must face up to before it looks to cut services to the public it ought to be serving.

David Weprin

Former Councilman

Hollis

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