MTA Considering Elimination of L.I. Bus
March 28, 2011
By Linda Gomez
Long Island transit workers are facing their own tsunami, with the MTA holding public hearings on service cutbacks that include the “possible
termination of all services provided by LI Bus.”
Hundreds of rank and file TWU Local 252 members joined community leaders and other transit workers on March 24 in an auditorium at Hofstra University in Hempstead to tell the MTA board that the cuts are unfair and wrong headed, creating economic calamity for thousands of Long Island residents who have no other way to get to work.
Long Island Federation of Labor President John R.Durso said at an impromptu press conference that stopping the closures and layoffs would require a full throated effort on the part of all stakeholders. But County Executive Ed Mangano has other plans. He attacked the MTA for financial incompetence and says he’ll introduce a “public-private partnership” plan within the next few weeks. Union leaders including Local 252’s Pat Bowden think that’s a stalking horse for selling out to a private company that will cut wages, lower safety standards, and end up cannibalizing the systems equipment and resources before pulling up its stakes and leaving Nassau County worse off.
The MTA says that Nassau County has short changed LI Bus and its Able Ride network for the disabled by $24 million. Proposed cuts have narrowed the budget gap to $16 million, still short of what is needed.