2010-03-26 / Letters

Don’t Throw Queens Under The Bus

Dear Editor,

Following the MTA’s announcement that it would implement draconian service cuts – including the elimination of several bus lines and toll rebates for the Cross Bay Bridge – that would disproportionately affect Queens, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) sent the following letter to MTA Chairman Jay Walder, a Rockaway native. Full text of letter below:

Dear Chairman Walder:

I write in opposition to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to make severe cuts in services provided in Queens. Our borough is once again the focus as the MTA plans to eliminate the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways, the Q74, Q26 and X32 buses, and the M train.

Since you are a Rockaway native, I’m sure you are aware that your neighbors in Broad Channel and Rockaway are far too familiar with the inadequacies of public transportation in South Queens. With the recent announcement that the commuter ferry service at Riis Landing will be terminated later this month, and the reoccurring failures of the A train, most residents require use of the Cross Bay Bridge and Marine Parkway Bridge to get to work, buy groceries, or even go to the post office. It is simply wrong for the MTA to impose what amounts to a tax on residents of this particular region while it provides truly inadequate public transportation to the most populous barrier island in the United States.

The Q74 and Q26 are staples of public transportation in central Queens. Our neighborhood’s senior citizens, who often face difficulties getting around town, rely on these buses for simple, daily errands. The many small businesses in Kew Garden Hills, which are weathering the current economic downturn, depend on the Q74 to bring customers from around Queens to Main Street. Furthermore, our borough’s students count on the Q74 to get to classes at Queens College and the X32 to get from Queens to the Bronx High School of Science.

For years, I have fought alongside my neighbors and colleagues in government to make sure Queens receives its fair share of transportation services. My colleagues and I in the Queens delegation worked hard to secure more than $900 million in Stimulus funds to make your job easier. I again express my strong opposition to the MTA’s plan to eliminate the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate, the Q74, Q26 and X32 buses.

I thank you in advance for your prompt attention and reply to this matter.

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