2005-04-01 / Community

‘Significant Issues Remain’ In Green Bus Takeover

By Howard Schwach


This file photo shows riders getting on to a Green Bus in Far Rockaway last summer. There is some doubt as to whether the city will take over the line by June 30.
This file photo shows riders getting on to a Green Bus in Far Rockaway last summer. There is some doubt as to whether the city will take over the line by June 30. Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already brought three of the seven private bus lines on board, questions remain on the takeover of the bus lines that impact Rockaway – Green Bus Lines, Triboro Bus Corporation and Jamaica Buses.

“There are significant issues that remain unresolved,” a spokesperson for Jerome Cooper, who is the President of all three lines, told Frank Lombardi of the Daily News.

In fact, it is not clear whether the city and Cooper can come to an agreement on a takeover plan prior to the April 30 deadline. City Councilman John Liu, the chair for the council’s transportation committee said last week that a new extension, the fourth, might well be necessary before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) can take over the three lines, which serve nearly three-quarters of all the riders who regularly use the seven lines.

Mayor Bloomberg told Lombardi, “There remains one owner that we’ve not come to an agreement with.”

Experts tell The Wave that the sticking points are pension rights and seniority when the three companies are folded into the MTA structure.

Also on the table, according to those experts, are the bus yards owned by Cooper, which the city wants to use when the city takeover is completed.

A spokesperson for the Mayor told The Wave that “talks are ongoing,” but declined to speculate as to whether an extension of the June 30 deadline would be sought or granted.

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