Today’s news:

MTA service cuts will burden people traveling to Manhattan

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder:

I am outraged after reading about the MTA’s latest reductions in services. These transportation cuts will have a dramatic and adverse impact here in Flushing and for Queens straphangers. The MTA continues to punish its customers because of its failure to efficiently manage its budget.

Over the last several months, my office has received many complaints regarding the decision to discontinue the X51 bus route from Flushing to midtown Manhattan. As you are aware, this express bus is the only one that goes through Flushing and provides an alternative to the heavily used No. 7 train and local buses. Completely eliminating this route will increase travel times and cause transportation hardships for the hardworking men and women of my district.

To add insult to injury, the MTA now has the audacity to reduce No. 7 line service after informing riders of the X51 that this line should be used as an alternative to the express bus. The No. 7 train is already overcrowded and numerous delays already frustrate passengers. I cannot understand why the MTA would simultaneously cut express bus and train service.

As I stated in my previous correspondence, if representatives from the MTA visited Flushing and observed our transportation needs, they would understand that the current service is inadequate and service cuts should be restored.

Reducing essential bus and train service, adding travel time to commuters’ schedules and causing additional overcrowding conditions will further exacerbate our transportation problems. I do not understand how the MTA believes that eliminating bus service, adding more riders and cutting train service to an already overburdened No. 7 line is the answer.

The phrase “penny wise and pound foolish” can best describe the ill-advised and shortsighted decision to terminate X51 service and reduce No. 7 line service. Budget gaps should be closed by reducing waste and not on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers.

Peter Koo

City Councilman

Flushing

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