FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND MTA CHAIR PETER KALIKOW ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO CONTINUE PRIVATE BUS SERVICE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chair Peter Kalikow announced an agreement that will minimize the possibility of service disruptions on July 1, for the 400,000 City residents who utilize the private bus system.
The Mayor has sent a message of necessity to the City Council asking for the extension of the operating authority for the seven private companies until December 4, 2004. Upon the expiration of this extension, the MTA will operate service out of a new company created within the MTA. The creation of this new company requires MTA Board approval, but no action from the State Legislature is necessary. Although this approach should resolve the private bus customers’ fears regarding continued bus service, it will deprive them of the efficiencies and better service that a regionalized bus service would have provided. In the absence of State legislation, the MTA will be unable to combine its various bus operations under a single roof.
“I am committed to maintaining this needed bus service for New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This solution means the transportation that the riding public depends on, to get to school, work and around our City, will continue. The public must come first.”
“The very purpose of the MTA is to provide coordinated transportation services throughout the New York metropolitan region,” said Chairman Kalikow. “To simply add seven more separate bus operations to our already fragmented system further compounds the difficulties we face in meeting our customers’ transportation needs. Nonetheless, I concur with the Mayor that the private bus customers needs must come first.”
The City will complete its outstanding negotiations with the private owners over the coming months. Starting December 5, 2004, the City will subsidize the MTA for the increased operating deficit created as a result of its operation of this service.
Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Tom Kelly (MTA)