B77 Riders Protest Service Cuts. Is Velmanette Montgomery Listening?
It's a long walk from the Red Hook West houses to the nearest subway stop at Smith-9th Street, and even longer to train connections at Fourth Avenue. Without night-time B77 service, a lot of commuters from the largest public housing project in Brooklyn will have to make that trek -- including a dash beneath the BQE -- on a regular basis. With MTA rescue talks currently at a standstill in Albany, about 100 Red Hook residents marched yesterday in protest of the austerity measures that will soon take effect. Clarence Eckerson documented the rally, organized by the Red Hook East and West Tenants Association.
The B77 serves Velmanette Montgomery's Senate district. Last week, after we ran a post questioning why Montgomery had basically taken the same position as the Fare Hike Four, her office emailed us to clarify. We were directed to a statement on the senator's website, which is best summed up by the following tagline: "Before we cut the service, let's cut the fat."
Given that the MTA has in fact streamlined itself under Lee Sander, and that its crushing debt load will get even worse without a solid, long-term funding plan -- not to mention the service cuts and fare hikes about to hit Montgomery's constituents -- shouldn't the senator be doing all in her power to push for a viable rescue of the MTA? We have a call in to Montgomery's office to find out what she proposes to do next.