Friday, 13 August 2010 00:00
(LIRRCC released the following statement.)
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) has called upon the MTA, the State of New York, and Nassau County to intensify their efforts to craft an equitable solution to preserve Long Island Bus service. Preliminary MTA budget materials released last week call for the discontinuation of MTA funding for Long Island Bus operations, which, if no further action is taken by these parties, would spell the end of most if not all Long Island Bus service.
“Long Island Bus is an essential transportation resource for the people of Long Island, including many Long Island Rail Road riders whom we represent. Preserving this vital service is an economic and quality of life issue. Long Island Bus links people to jobs in the local community and beyond through connections to the Long Island Rail Road and provides other riders, some of whom have no other transportation options, access to education, recreation, medical care, and shopping” stated LIRRCC Chair Maureen Michaels.
Oversight of Long Island Bus does not fall directly within the mission of the LIRRCC, but the Council’s members are exceedingly concerned that appropriate connecting bus service be available to bring riders to Long Island Rail Road stations in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Not only do these connecting services provide LIRR riders with a means of reaching their stations, they also reduce demand for often scarce parking, a major issue in many communities.
“We can ill afford to do without this valuable resource and the more than 100,000 daily trips that it provides. The loss of Long Island Bus service would result in inconvenience, economic dislocation, hardship for those having the least resources, environmental degradation, and increased congestion on streets and roads already strained to their breaking points” Ms. Michaels noted. “Failure to reach a mutually agreeable solution is not acceptable.”
The LIRRCC is the representative of Long Island Rail Road riders and was created by the state legislature in 1981. Its volunteer members are users of the Long Island Rail Road who are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives and the Brooklyn and Queens Borough Presidents.