Goodbye B31, Hello $2.50, Higher Tolls, and New Tolls

B31 Early Morning

Goodbye B31, B2 and B4! Hello $2.50

Our B31 will have daily overnight service cease between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. The B4 and B2 will not have any weekend service. About 3,000 subway and bus positions are also being cut, which will mean about 1,000 layoffs

So much for the Ravitch plan, congestion pricing, and faith in our city and state elected officials. I remember our Lew Fidler almost promising that a new payroll tax would be adopted which would save the fare.

It also looks like we will be getting those East River Bridge Tolls and also an expansion of the rapid bus transit system down Nostrand Ave (more to come on that)

What a mess. What in the world happened?! Was it really the State Senate?!

Marty Golden’s people sent in a press release:

Senator Marty Golden stated, “Does the Governor, Speaker and Majority Leader understand what a 25% fare increase and what the service reductions proposed by the M.T.A. mean to the average New Yorker? In these troubling economic times, this is clearly an issue that required leadership but unfortunately went basically ignored by the Democrats in charge. Although there were actually no good choices, today’s vote by the M.T.A. was clearly the worst option.”

Golden continued, “The issue of an M.T.A. bailout has become a political football. It was punted from Shelly Silver to Malcolm Smith, to the Governor, then a website was created, and then it is was dropped. The inaction on the part of the Democratic leadership of this state in control of the Governor’s mansion, the Senate and the Assembly, closing the doors completely to Republicans, failed all New Yorkers. Now, when you pay another 50 cents to ride the train or when you have to walk even further to catch a bus, remember to thank the Democrats. Their inaction has caused your quality of life, a basic necessity to work and to live, to suffer.”

Senator Golden spoke at the Brooklyn hearing hosted by the Metropolitan Transit Authority where he opposed the fare hikes and service cuts on bus routes in his district. Senator Golden further organized a petition drive opposing service reductions to the entirety of the weekend express bus service on the X 27 and X 28, weekend service on the B2, B4 and B16, overnight service on the B31 and B64, the entire B37 bus route, and other reductions to the B16 and B70.

Seems like this statement is a political “punt” of sorts and more putting politics ahead of what’s best for the people!

25 comments to Goodbye B31, Hello $2.50, Higher Tolls, and New Tolls

  • Coming Home Late

    The other night I waited from 1:09 AM until 1:49 AM for a B31. 40 minutes! It is not safe to walk home at that time. JAFFA car service overcharges for the ride home from Kings Highway. This horrible service is unacceptable with the taxes we pay in NYC.

  • Sexton Hardcastle

    Well looks like im driving home from the train station on the weekends.

    Watch out!!!

    • bagels

      I think many late night workers will decide to this even if they have to park a few blocks from the station.

  • jo

    Sounds like gerritsen beach needs it’s own “dollar vans” soon. haha

  • bagels

    Dagnabit! I was going to make the dollar van comment. You beat me to it.

  • anonymous

    Don’t laugh about the dollar vans, they get you where you want to go, cheaper and faster. If someone down here is out of work, this could be a great opportunity to get a bunch of regular riders together and have your own taxi service. (kinda,sorta)lol

    • trainman

      While a number of people here are joking about introducing “Dollar Vans” into GB, they are a shining example of the mismanagement we must endure by our political leaders. Oh, by the way, we DO elect them to represent US and NOT any special-interest groups like the operators of the dollar vans that proliferate throughout the city. Anyone that ventures onto Flatbush Avenue between Kings Plaza and downtown know all too well the amount of money that’s been siphoned out of the MTA’s bottom-line. So what’s the city answer to the illegal operation of these vans? Raise fares, cut services and tax motorists (again) because our political leaders refuse to accept the responsibility to operate the Public Transportation System in a money making self-sufficient way.
      So every couple years we face the same scenario, raise tolls, raise fares and cut services. I mentioned recently about how our city officials ignored the will of the people by circumventing the two-term limit law we voted on twice. If we don’t stand up and vote these two-term incumbent’s out of office in the next election, then we definitely do deserve the continuing reduction in our quality of life. We control our destiny with our VOTE so let’s not at like sheep.

      • sbbob

        Yes Trainman,

        Each and every state senator should pay for this colossal failure with their jobs — at another time, one would say “off with their heads” — they should be accountable. The same goes for the knuckleheads that allegedly run the MTA. How do you not successfully run a public transportation system with the revenues they receive, each and every day, not to mention the additional public assistance they receive, and then they have the nerve to open gift shops to rip us off even more. Does anyone have the vaguest idea of where these billions of dollars go? Everyone holding a state position right now should know they will be out of a job at election time unless they do some creative brainstorming and regulate the salaries of the MTA bigwigs.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    Hey, If I were in the State Legislature, maybe they would have passed the payroll tax and saved the fare…..remember, I proposed it over a year ago. Filed a Council resolution demanding it. But I don’t vote in Albany any more than you do. However, I still do believe that it will be a part of the solution and that it will happen before fares are forced up.
    Lew from Brooklyn

  • monsterzro

    well, didn’t we kinda have one? Well, it was the $4 van, some guy had a private mini bus and he just did runs from NYC to GB, I used it a couple of times when I first moved into the area.

  • mike

    Such a shame. They should have tolled the East River bridges and we wouldn’t be in this mess. Marty has no right to complain about fare hikes and service cuts because of his opposition to congestion pricing/bridge tolls.

    • MackAttack

      Have to disagree with Mike about tolling the east river bridges if you ride the mass transit system then you pay the fair whatever it may be leave motorists that do not use the filthy mass transit system out of this mess besides we are already taxed and surcharged at the gas pump and motor vehicle bureau.

      • trainman

        I also disagree with Mike.

        Socialism? Redistribution of the wealth? Incompetence? Am I talking about politics in Washington? No, I’m talking about the policies that affect us citizens in New York City, especially relating to the MTA.
        When did it become acceptable to charge one mode of transportation a tax so someone else does not have to pay their fair share of the cost to use a mode of transportation they prefer to use?
        The Metropolitan transportation authority is a business like anything else.
        It should be self-sufficient and the people that use it should pay for the product they use. If the business is running at a loss then you either reduce expenses, raised the price of a product or replace management. Haven’t we been charging motorists surcharges on the bridges and tunnels leading in and out of the city for years? Did it solve the problem? No, it just postpone it to the next doomsday MTA proposal.
        Instead of going after people who happen to use a different mode of transportation why not go after the people who elected to leave this city to live else where but decided to continue to work here and use the facilities the city has to offer. We must make out of state commuters pay there fair share for the facilities they use while they work here. Let’s not forget that when they received their paycheck, they don’t spend it here in the city, they go back home to the suburbs, and spend the there.

        • mike

          Yeah, because Ike’s creation of the highway system wasn’t socialism. And the continued massive subsidies to car drivers aren’t socialism. trainman, you are so wrong, I’m not going to bother with a full rebuttal.

          • trainman

            Yeah, because Ike’s creation of the highway system wasn’t socialism. And the continued massive subsidies to car drivers aren’t socialism. trainman, you are so wrong, I’m not going to bother with a full rebuttal.

            “Yeah, because Ike’s creation of the highway system wasn’t socialism.”

            Mike you missed a very important aspect of Ike’s creation of the interstate highway system. To fund this massive system, the Eisenhower administration imposed a hefty tax on gasoline. At the present time we pay approximately 45 cents per gallon to build and maintain our interstate highways. (Per 20 gallon fill up that equals $9.00 in federal taxes!!!) In New York City we pay an additional 8 1/2 percent sales tax on the price of a gallon of gasoline. To drive an automobile one needs to pay a tax to have a driver’s license. Then they need to pay a registration tax to own an automobile. Once a year you need to pay a fee to have the automobile inspected. Then we need to purchase automobile insurance regulated by the State of New York. To declare that there is also “Massive subsidies to car drivers” leads me to believe that you don’t own an automobile.
            A statement issued by the MTA a few years back stated that the actual cost to maintain the VB is $.75 each direction. ($1.50) Actual cost for an automobile today is $10.00. The difference is used to subsidize the transit system. When I visit my grandchildren in New Jersey, approximately 60 mile round-trip, it costs me an average $24.00 for gasoline and Tolls. ($8.00 Goethals bridge) Someone using mass transit can go from Brooklyn to the Bronx and back (approximately 50 miles)…$4.00.
            My original point was how completely unfair it is to use automobile drivers as a scapegoat to fund an obviously unmanageable MTA.
            Imposing any additional taxes on automobile owners to subsidize a different form of transportation is, dare I say, Socialism.

          • George

            Oh man! Do you need a history and a public policy lesson!!!

          • trainman

            Well, George, I’m right here so give me the lesson you’re talking about. Show me the numbers and prove to me that I’m wrong and I’ll apologize. Do me a favor and try to amass your lesson with little more than 12 words this time.

          • trainman

            Oh, I would just like to add that I await your full rebuttal.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    Regarding Dollar Vans, I expended huge amounts of energy in trying to get the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Police to get rid of them. They have been a bit though not totally successful in moving them off the side streets near the Plaza where they were terrifying local residents. Much less successful at moving them off of Flatbush Avenue.
    The very first letteer I wrote to Mayor Bloomberg when we both took office was an attempt to get rid of the Dollar Vans. The Mayor had just announced that he “admired their entrepreneurial spriit”—I kid you not, that is what he said. The fact that they are uninsured in most cases and not paying taxes, he didn’t comment on.
    I then suggested to the MTA that they compete for the business they were losing to the Dollar Vans. The fact is that the MTA’s absurd approach is a circular self fulfilling prophecy. They assign the number of bus runs by ridership. They cut a bus, and people get frustrated and more people take the vans. Ridership goes down and they cut another bus, More people take the vans and so on and on and on.
    I suggested to the MTA that they fight fire with fire and ADD buses where vans are competing. I went to the TWU and asked for their support, perhaps with leafletting passengers along the route to urge them to stay with public transit. After all, dollar vans are a privatization of public transportation, right?
    Both pleas feel on deaf ears, so I went back to pressing enforcement. But enforcement has it s limits and NYPD seems to be satisfied with keeping them off the side streets.
    Heaven forbid Dollar Vans come to the Beach where they will speed up and down Gerritsen, honking and weavinng thru traffic and endangering people’s lives and further reducing bus service.
    Meanwhile, the payroll tax is looking like it will happen, and as I told folks, even without bridge tolls, it will save the fare and stop the service reductions.
    I am still confident!

    Lew from Brooklyn

    • trainman

      I would like to commend you, Lew, on your effort in trying to right this blatant disregard of the laws of this city. I have witnessed the residence of the side streets around Kings Plaza putting up barricades to discourage these dollar vans from accessing their streets because of their frequent attempts to pull over and relieve them selves at the curb. I have also witnessed the police from time to time issuing summonses to said operators. I think if the city was serious about this situation they would be not only issue summonses, they would also confiscate the van because it was used in the process of committing a crime. Instead they spanked them on the wrists and send them on there way in hopes they would find another source of income. In actuality, this is an attempt by our politicians to avoid, at any cost, a confrontation with any entity that may cause them harm when they run for reelection, and we law abiding citizens pay for it financially. There’s an old expression that states a fish starts stinking from the head down. I think that the answer our mayor gave you is a good indication of that adage.
      Bob from GB

      • Beachwalker

        I agree with you completly, trainman and also thank you Lew for banging your head against the wall over the dollar vans. I can understand why the polititans stay away from the issue, but can either of you explain WHY the taxi and limo commision doesn’t do something about this, dollar vans have got to make a big cut into the legal cab/car service business as well as the MTA. I never understood why they don’t demand action. They pay so much in fees and insurance etc.

        • trainman

          Welcome to this issue, Beachwalker.
          To me, anyway, it seems quite obvious why the taxi and limousine commission distances itself from this issue. Commissioner Matthew Daus was appointed and is employed by the city of New York, run by our mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Following the back room policies regarding this matter, would be prudent behavior on Mr. Daus part. Unfortunately politics as usual and its citizens be damn.

      • Lew from Brooklyn

        You are welcome Trainman and Beachwalker.
        Actually, while I would love to lay the blame for TLC on the Mayor due to policy, I think it iis really due to resources. TLC did in fact assist us in many ways. Nonetheless they have a limited enforcemnt division and have an entire City to address. Bad as iti si at Kings Plaza, it is not the only place that enforcemtn is needed and there are issues other than the vans as well.
        NYPD has in fact confiscated numerous vehicles. But as I said before, they are really just trying to drive the vans off the side streets to Flatbush with some limited success. Note I said limited. About once a month or so, my office calls the local precinct to ask that pressure be stepped up in either the east 50’s or Hendrickson or some other street where we have gotten complaints.

        The answe really has to be more comprehensive. I DO believe that part of it includes the MTA responidng to this as if it were a business competitor and that the MTA actually cared about the lost business. And TWU members need to look at it as if it were an attack on their livilihood.

        People at City Hall often say that i am obsessive compulsive about things, and be sure that this is one of them. When the moment is right, and the opportunity beckons, I will try once again. And again. Maybe it will take a different Mayor who sees things as we do. We’ll see,

        Lew from Brooklyn

        • Beachwalker

          Maybe now that layoffs ARE being threatened by MTA, the TWU will see them as an attack on their livlihoods and get involved.

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