Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Message From CM James- MTA: Don't Leave New Yorkers Stranded!

January 7, 2010

Dear New Yorker,

Last month the MTA unveiled a package of budget cuts that is a slap in the face to hardworking people across our city.

I have stood with elected officials, transportation advocates, students, seniors, people with disabilities and other transit riders to protest this latest round of proposed service cuts, which include the elimination of Student Metro Cards and cuts to the Access-a-Ride Program.

New Yorkers from all walks of life joined us in sending a strong, clear message to the MTA: Don't Leave New Yorkers Stranded!

Working together with transit advocates, the New York City Council has proposed an alternate budget solution that will help us to avoid these drastic service cuts by:

* Reallocating 10 percent of direct stimulus aid to MTA operating expenses ($91.5 million);
* Using budgeted PAYGO capital funds for operating ($50 million); and
* Reallocating 10 percent of additional stimulus transit aid to State to operating ($30 million).

Relevant articles in the press:

* "Rally to save service: Astoria protest vs. MTA plan to kill W line"
* "Save Our Subways! NYers Protest MTA Cuts"
* "Students, Politicians Protest MTA Cuts"

We need your help. Below are actions we can all take to stem these cuts and adopt a more rational plan.

Take Action!

* Sign our petition here and support our plan!

* Attend the MTA's public hearing on this issue. By signing our petition we will be able to notify you when the hearing is scheduled.

* Contact the MTA. Urge them to find alternative ways to prevent these terrible cuts and to ensure an open public process. By phone, dial (212) 878-7483. By e-mail, click here.

* Contact Governor Paterson. Let him know how these transit service cuts will affect your life.

* Sign up to volunteer! If you would like to take part in any of the events that we will be organizing around this issue, please contact Nick Rolf at the Speaker's office at

With your help we can stop these drastic cuts and ensure greater public input in the MTA's budget process.

Letitia James
Member of City Council

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