Statement of Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal on Upper West Side Bus Service Cuts

July 26, 2017

“My constituents and I are dismayed by the MTA’s plan to cut service on three bus lines that serve the Upper West Side: the M72, the M66 and the M10. With unreliable subway service, bus transportation is more critical than ever to my constituents and New Yorkers city wide, and it is short sighted to cut service to these bus lines, particularly in an area as dense as the Upper West Side, during this transportation “emergency.”

The MTA’s attempt to justify the cuts by citing reduced ridership rings hollow: both the M66 and M72 were among the City’s slowest and most unreliable bus lines. In fact, the M66 won a Pokey Award from NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign in 2015 for being the slowest bus in the City, traveling an average 3.1mph. The M66 received an honorable mention from the group that year as well.

Given the slow speeds and unreliability of these bus lines, it’s no wonder that they have experienced reduced ridership. Fewer people are taking the buses because they cannot count on the buses to get them where they need to go.

Instead of additional service reductions, which will leave my constituents, particularly the elderly and disabled, with fewer public transposition options, I demand that the MTA invest in upgrades to bus service on the Upper West Side and elsewhere across the city. With failing subways, buses will increasingly be relied upon to fill service gaps, and we must plan proactively to ensure that our lines can fill the need.”