The MTA this week released more details about the planned service cutbacks that will arrive starting in July if no action is take on the Ravitch Report. The reports are all available here as PDF files, but I’m going to highlight the changes and cost savings here. As you’ll see, the subway cutbacks will impact a lot of people, and the aggregate annual savings just don’t seem that high to me.
- Terminate the G at Court Square
Net Annual Savings: $1.9 million
- Operate the N via the Manhattan Bridge Late Nights
Net Annual Savings: $390,000
- Eliminate the W; extend the Q to Astoria Weekdays; operate the N local in Manhattan
Net Annual Savings: $3 million
- Eliminate M between Broad Street and Bay Parkway; eliminate Z and J/Z skip-stop service; and operate J local between Jamaica Center and Myrtle Avenue
Net Annual Savings: $2.4 million
- Operate 10-Minute headway on B division Weekends
Net Annual Savings: $5 million
- 125 percent of seated-load weekday middays and evenings
Net Annual Savings: $8.4 million
- 30-Minute Headways 2 a.m.-5 a.m.
Net Annual Savings: $4.1 million
- Total Net Annual Savings: $25.19 million
Now, over the course of the week, the MTA estimates this will impact upwards of a million passengers per day trying to get anywhere in the city. The cost savings also represent about two percent of the total $1.2 billion operating budget gap.
I understand that the MTA needs to close the budget gap as best it can, but I have to wonder if inconveniencing so many passengers is really the way to do it. I think these numbers show the extent and magnitude of the cuts. At some point, nearly every New Yorker will deal with longer wait times and reduced service options. They’ll face more crowded trains, fewer seats and more surly passengers. Is that really the best approach for the MTA? At a time when the agency needs sympathy, it will be antagonizing its riders.
On the flip side, the numbers for personnel reduction are much higher. New York City Transit alone is looking at over $100 million in cost savings alone through managerial cutbacks and station staffing positions. I’d rather see more of those than what seem like minimal savings through service cuts whose reverberations will be felt throughout the whole system.