Malliotakis, COJO Say MTA Hearing Date & Time Insensitive
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, joined by Council of Jewish Organizations President Scott Maurer, today expressed disappointment with the MTA’s selection of time and date for its Staten Island hearing on bus and Access-A-Ride fare and Verrazano bridge toll hikes.
“Few things affect State Islanders more than the tolls and fares imposed by the MTA. The agency’s recent announcement of its intent to increase the cost of commuting, even as service declines, deserves vocal outrage from residents. The decision to begin the Staten Island hearing at 5:30pm, a time of day when the vast majority of our residents are still commuting home from work, coupled by the hearing taking place during Hanukah, is a slap in the face to the many riders who rely on the system. Most Staten Islanders who work in Manhattan don’t return to Staten Island until around 7 p.m. If anything, this shows how out of touch the MTA is when it comes to the lack of service and long commute times endured by Islanders. Adding insult to injury, the fact that it coincides with the celebration of Hanukah shows great insensitivity to our Jewish residents. The MTA should move the date and time of the hearing so the maximum number of commuters can participate and have their voice heard,” said Malliotakis.
Scott Maurer, CEO and Executive Vice President of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO) also expressed dismay: “Hanukah is a time for families to get together, to focus on bonding and what is important in life. This sacred period should be respected. The MTA should be sensitive to the importance of Hanukah, the fact that children are off from school to spend time with their parents and the Holiday season. That being said to schedule any public meeting that conflicts or interferes with this important family time should be avoided if possible.”