How much transit service could the MTA add if Governor Cuomo’s proposed $40 million transit raid doesn’t make Albany’s final budget? Here’s a taste, courtesy of the Straphangers Campaign and the Riders Alliance.
Service that was cut from seven subway lines in 2010, serving 300,000 weekday riders, could be restored. More than a dozen weekday bus routes could be added across the five boroughs, plus weekend service for more than a dozen other routes. The LIRR could run more trains and MetroNorth could add cars.
It would all add up to quicker commutes, less crowding, and more freedom for New Yorkers to get around without a car.
Straphangers and the Riders Alliance based the potential service restorations and additions on the MTA’s estimates of cost savings achieved with the 2010 service cuts.
In their budget proposals, both the Assembly and the State Senate rejected the $40 million transit raid in the governor’s executive budget. The issue is expected to be decided during final negotiations this week between the legislature and Cuomo.
The Cuomo camp has tried to diminish the significance of the raid, which would compel the MTA to pay off bonds for capital projects that the state had previously promised to cover. The advocates’ list of foregone service helps bring home the point that there is in fact a very real cost whenever Albany decides to divert revenue from transit.
Here’s the full list of service that $40 million could buy, according to Straphangers and the Riders Alliance:
- Restore mid-day, nighttime and weekend service that was reduced on the 1, 7, A, F, J, L and M lines in 2010, creating shorter waits for 300,000 riders every weekday and 285,000 riders every weekend ($3.1 million)
- Add 20% more morning rush hour service on the notoriously infrequent and crowded C train ($1 million)
- Restore G train service to Forest Hills–71st Avenue in Queens ($1.5 million)
- Restore W train one-seat service from Astoria to Lower Manhattan ($3.4 million)
- Add four new local daytime and three new weekend routes in the Bronx ($4.2 million)
- Add three new local bus routes and implement weekend hours for three weekday-only routes in Brooklyn ($4.7 million)
- Add three bus routes and implement weekend hours for two weekday routes in Manhattan ($4.7 million)
- Add three new bus routes with weekday and weekend hours in Queens ($6.9 million)
- Add three new weekend routes, and three new peak hours routes in Staten Island ($3 million)
- Add 6 new LIRR rush hour trains every weekday ($2.2 million)
- Add 10 new off-peak weekday LIRR trains ($0.4 million)
- Add 10 new LIRR trains every weekend day ($0.3 million)
- Add cars to Metro-North trains to reduce crowding on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines ($2.7 million)
- Add two daily Metro-North trains each to the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines ($1.9 million)