New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Letter to MTA Opposing Service Cuts to M31, M57, M66 and M72

June 17, 2017

Darryl C. Irick
Acting President
New York City Transit
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Re: Bus Schedule Revisions Effective September 2017

Dear Acting President Irick,

Thank you to New York City Transit for your diligent evaluation of bus service routes, but we must express concern with regards to insufficient public notice and object to service cuts of up to 33% to four bus lines crucial to the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Midtown.

We received a notice to Elected Officials and Community Boards on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 5:22PM after the close of business for a presentation for informational purposes on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 10AM, providing zero business-days’ notice over Father’s Day weekend with no time for Community Boards to meet let alone speak during the meeting’s public session. Any proposed cuts in service must wait for approval by the Acting President until after the next public meeting on July 24, 2017.

In our letter of March 15, 2015 we expressed concerns regarding ongoing concerns with crosstown bus service connecting the Upper East and Upper West Sides. Following our letter we were grateful to see the implementation of Select Bus Service for two crosstown bus routes on the M79 and M86. We are however troubled to see cuts in service to the M31, M57, M66, and M72 of 11% to 33% increasing scheduled wait times by as much as five minutes for 20 minutes between buses. We are concerned with increases to headway that will leave our residents feeling abandoned by our buses. Increasing headways above 9 minutes leaves residents more likely to walk than wait the proposed 20 minutes for a bus that might never come.

Bus Service Route Recommendations:

  • M31 - Reject increase in PM Peak headway from 8 to 9 minutes (12.5%).
  • M57 - Reject increase in AM Peak headway from 10 to 12 minutes (20%) and Evening headway from 12 to 15 minutes (25%).
  • M66 - Reject increase in AM Peak headway from 4 to 4.5 minutes (12.5%) and PM Peak headway from 3.5 to 4 minutes (14%).
  • M72 - Reject increase in AM Peak headway from 9 to 10 minutes (11%), PM Peak headway from 8 to 9 minutes (12.5%), and Evening headways from 15 to 20 minutes (33%).

While the research and evaluation done by the MTA for proposed service changes is commendable, it is not done in a transparent manner that is subject to public review. We reiterate prior requests for a release of underlying data used to evaluate bus service, including but not limited to bus farebox data.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we hope to have a response prior to any reduction in service.


Ben Kallos
Council Member

Jerrold Nadler
Congress Member

Carolyn Maloney
Congress Member

Gale Brewer
Borough President

Dan Garodnick
Council Member


Liz Krueger
State Senator

Brad Hoylman
State Senator

José Serrano
State Senator

Dan Quart
Assembly Member

Rebecca Seawright
Assembly Member



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