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Blame Councilmembers for Q79 Group Ride’s failure

By now we have all read about the demise of the Q79 Group Ride Program. As one of the civic leaders who staged rallies and protests to save the bus line and have the Group Ride Program adopted for this route, it’s a sad day for our seniors and others that have no affordable transportation alternatives.

The demise of the Group Ride Program is a failure of our local elected officials. Listening to Councilman Weprin and others talk about it as if they have no blame is like listening to the teen who killed his parents and then pleads to the court for mercy because he is an orphan. The politicians who decimated the MTA budget and then screamed about the loss of the Q79 bus are the true culprits in this sad chapter. The Group Ride program was set up for failure by the TLC. The local civics offered all sorts of input to make this program work, but the TLC refused to listen and shut out the civics on all Group Ride Program discussions.

I am President of Glen Oaks Village, which is the largest garden apartment co-op in New York, with 10,000 residents. We are among the hardest hit by the loss of the Q79 and the Group Ride Program. Although local politicians will tell you otherwise, the blame squarely falls on them. Our local electeds were always quick to appear at press conferences and rallies for photo ops, but once the election was over, they were nowhere to be found. They talked the talk, but never walked the walk. It takes more than a smiling face and some meaningless, generic sound bite to a local reporter to fix a problem. When councilmembers earn nearly a half million dollars per term, more is expected. Unfortunately, when the nuts and bolts of the Group Ride Program needed adjustments, our councilman was MIA. Surprised that the Group Ride Program has ended? Elect the same people, expect the same results.

Bob Friedrich

Glen Oaks Village

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