The NFTA has made a really bad decision. They are cutting 22% of their bus and rail miles going into effect April 1st. They had a choice of whether to cut routes or raise fares or a combination and decided to only cut routes, resulting in an almost one fourth cut in miles and eliminating many routes completely. This came about because of the State’s unwillingness to give them the $10 or $15 million they need to keep service the way it is. The NFTA had asked Mr. Cuomo for the funding as emergency help earlier this year and he refused.
The fare increase would be 25 cents a ride, a total of about $15 -$20 per month for someone who goes out most days. That amount of fare raise is no big deal for most people compared to not having any way to get somewhere or a much more difficult time getting there. You have to wonder what the NFTA board was thinking when they decided not to raise the fares that amount and to cut this much service (57 routes gone or with less service) . It has been pointed out there are no bus riders on their Board. For some this means losing their job, having to move and more. In Buffalo, which is the third poorest city in this country it is said up to about 40% of families do not have a car. This hurts the elderly, poor and disabled most who often cannot drive. Also, their handicapped car service is only allowed to service people who are on a current bus route, an absurd and heinous rule.
Not only are these cuts in service happening instead of a quarter a ride increase, but about 170 people are losing their jobs, not only bus and rail drivers and staff but also not a few Metro police who helped make the rail safe, although Metro police are known for their brutality.
Public comments and feedback to the NFTA and Mr. Cuomo and our state assembly and senate are desperately needed to reverse this decision. It is Albany who has decided not to give WNY the 10-15 million while they just gave downstate $250 million for their transportation service?!!?! The NFTA is sponsoring five public hearings from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. where the public can speak their mind and be heard. Please attend and speak!! Notice is on all buses and on their website. Here is the link: http://metro.nfta.com/Routes/ServiceReductions.aspx . Also, they are taking public emailed comments until Feb 2. Each one they receive may make a difference. The address to email your comments to them is email@example.com. Sen.Grisanti is sponsoring a petition to get the funding from the state at http://www.nysenate.gov/webform/sign-senator-grisanti-s-petition-restore-funding-nfta .
VOICE BUFFALO IS TAKING ACTION. PLEASE ATTEND THEIR NEXT PLANNING MEETING, TUES JAN 24, 6PM. AT 345 FRANKLIN ST.