YOUR HARD WORK PAID OFF. WE SAVED THE BUS! THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING OUT...WRITING LETTERS TO THE EDITORS..CALLING THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE..CALLING LEGISLATORS...CIRCULATING PETITIONS...ATTENDING HEARINGS.
County Executive Rob Astorino and the Board of Legislators (including Board Chair Ken Jenkins and Legislator Tom Abinanti) deserve the thanks of hundreds of commuters who are grateful that the Westchester-NY express bus route will be saved. Although some off peak/weekend service will be cut and fares will be hiked - the decision to save the bus will enable many commuters who don't have cars and who live on Central Ave to continue to get to and from work. Many commuters who reside at Highpoint in Hartsdale and in Edgemont also use this route. The route also has a number of riders from Ardsley.
The decision to save the bus is important for another reason: it shows that our elected county officials are listening to the public. Hundreds of commuters attended meetings and public hearings---expressing the importance this bus route has on their lives. Our county lawmakers showed that they listen. They worked with commuters and came up with a sensible compromise proposal that saves the most important bus schedules and saves taxpayer dollars at the same time.
WHAT IS NEXT---COMMUTERS WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO HELP FIND PARK AND RIDE LOCATIONS TO INCREASE RIDERSHIP
Commuters who depend on this route will be asked to reach out to commercial property owners along Central Ave. We need legal park and ride spots on the Ave. In the past we have been unsuccessful in persuading land owners to designate parking spots on the ave for commuters to park their cars. If people who do not live on the avenue could park their cars legally at designated locations there would be a greater chance that this route could survive for many years to come--because ridership would increase. I will be contacting many commuters in the coming weeks and will ask them to help in the effort to promote ridership on this important route.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
ASTORINO PROPOSAL TO SAVE EXPRESS BUS SAVES MILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS
Plan would reduce frequency of route this year and help reduce projected budget deficit
County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced a compromise plan to save the county’s BxM4C express bus to Manhattan but still save county taxpayers about $1.1 million this year and $2.5 million annually beginning in 2011.
“Many of the express route riders have asked us to find some way to save this route,” said Astorino. “I am sympathetic to their concerns and have been searching for a way to do this. But the county faces a projected deficit of $166 million next year, so we cannot continue to operate this route with county tax dollars. My proposal strikes the balance between our taxpayers and our riders.”
Astorino’s plan provides the following:
· Beginning June 28, the frequency of the route will change. Peak service and limited non-peak service will continue on weekdays. Weekend service will be eliminated. The fare would increase in September to about $8.50, from $5.50; all discount fares would be ended.
· The Astorino administration and Liberty Lines Transit, the operators of the route, will study the feasibility of the line being “spun off” to Liberty Lines in 2011 and operated without any county subsidy. This would give Liberty the control over fares and schedules.
· There is no guarantee of the route’s survival past Dec. 31. Therefore, Astorino will continue his talks with the MTA and state and county officials about regional transportation issues that affect bus operations and funding.
“This plan adopts suggestions from the express route’s riders – some of whom said they would be willing to pay higher fares to keep the service – and suggestions from county legislators, while eliminating the $2.5 million taxpayer subsidy,” Astorino said. “Ultimately, much will depend on whether there are enough riders to keep the route viable.”