In August, MTA chair Patrick Foye suggested in an emergency meeting that the agency might enact service cuts along numerous lines in an effort to save $7 million.
Among those lines are the B38 and B54, which run through Ridgewood, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick. Officials say that service cuts along these lines will disproportionately affect minority New Yorkers, who depend on the buses as their primary form of transportation.
Borough President Eric Adams said the cuts hit close to home as he uses the B38 to get home.
“Black and brown and poor New Yorkers depend on this system,” he said. “They don’t have the luxury of just getting on an app and calling an Uber or Lyft.”
Comptroller Scott Stringer said the cuts would hurt local economies.
“Nothing is more crucial to the economy and the lifeblood of the city than making sure that we expand our bus service,” he said. “We are now a five-borough economy, which means that when you cut buses, you also damage small businesses, create loss of jobs, and hurt people who ride the buses the most, which are working people in this city.”
Advocates from the Riders Alliance called on Cuomo to find a revenue source to meet the $7 million gap in the operating budget.
Pedro Valdez said that he relies on the B38 and that the bus service is already inconsistent. The cuts would lengthen a commute he says he already needed to extend by an hour.
“I and thousands and thousands of riders would need to spend more time waiting at the bus stop and running the risk of being late to appointments and meetings,” he said. “Reducing bus and service is not the answer.”