In 1982, before winning my first race for County Legislator, I organized a commuter bus service from Westchester to Manhattan. The bus service was started because conditions on the rail service was so poor. I am very disappointed that County Executive Rob Astorino is proposing the elimination of the bus route and pledge to work hard to save the route. This letter is being sent to the County Executive, Board of Legislators, Yonkers & White Plains officials. A meeting with commuters is tentatively scheduled for April 6th at 7:30 PM --in Yonkers. If you would like to join the effort to save the route please advise by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The elimination of other bus routes by the county could hurt big and small businesses. The county should be promoting --not hurting our businesses who rely on public transportation.
I was disappointed to read that the county is considering eliminating the Westchester-Manhattan express bus service. I am very familiar with the importance of this service because I was very instrumental in setting up the commuter bus service in 1982 (see May 16, 1982 article: Reporter's Notebook: An Activist's Odyssey for Bus Service, NY TIMES).
This service was started because trains were not running on time. Conditions on the trains were deplorable--with frequent breakdowns, inadequate heat/air conditioning, lack of seats). The lack of competition provided the railroad with no incentive to be responsive to commuter concerns. After the competing bus service got started service started to improve on the trains. If the Westchester-Manhattan express bus is discontinued I believe that rail service will also deteriorate because of the lack of competition.
BEFORE THE COUNTY DISCONTINUES THE BUS SERVICE--you should circulate a commuter impact questionnaire. Every rider should be asked to provide the county with information that can help you make a more informed decision. I would like to know how many riders don't have cars and can't get to the train station. If the Manhattan express bus line is discontinued many commuters who live on Central Ave will not be able to get to work. I would also like to know how many NYC or Bronx riders who use the bus to get to Westchester are homecare workers, nanny's, nurses. How will the reduction of bus service impact them? If the bus service is discontinued will they decide not to work in Westchester? How will this help or hurt Westchester businesses? Will the discontinuation of commuter bus service hurt our ability to attract service providers to the county. Will the elimination of this route also hurt property values on Central Ave? Many people move to apartments on Central Ave because of the convenience of having a commuter bus stop by in front of their apartments. If we destroy our public transportation network our roads will be more congested. We will also be moving the county backwards --and making our county less green.
I have also been advised that the county is also considering the elimination of the LOOP T bus route that serves many people who work at Siemens as well as people who reside in Tarrytown, Glenville and neighboring vicinities. The elimination of this route is a BUSINESS UNFRIENDLY action that will hurt some of the businesses and offices in Greenburgh. I hope that our county government will recognize the importance our public transportation system has on the economic health of the county. If we eliminate important bus routes we will hurt our chances of attracting the best employees when the economy improves.
A COMPROMISE SUGGESTION-- If you decide that you have to cut service on the Manhattan express route or other routes, you might wish to cut service during off peak hours, not during the prime commuter hours.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: AN ACTIVIST'S ODYSSEY FOR BUS SERVICE
By EDWARD HUDSON (The New York Times); Weschester Weekly Desk
May 16, 1982, Sunday
Late City Final Edition, Section 11, Page 1, Column 1, 1365 words
[ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ]WHEN word came from Albany that state officials would approve two express-bus runs between the county and Manhattan to compete with Conrail, probably no one was more surprised than Paul Feiner, the political activist who for months had fought hard for the idea. The announcement came a week ago ...