Photo via wikimedia.
Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and other Upper West Siders spoke out at an MTA hearing on Monday against planned service cuts on the M104, which travels up and down Broadway. The line has seen decreased ridership in recent years, but Rosenthal says that’s because of a decline in service and reliability.
Under a plan set to be implemented next month, the MTA is looking to run one fewer bus per hour for much of the day. But Rosenthal sees it as part of a pattern that has made it progressively harder for locals to get around.
It’s a vicious cycle, according to Rosenthal. The more the MTA cuts service, the more people abandon the bus because it’s unreliable. And the more they abandon the bus, the more likely that the MTA will make more cuts to account for lower ridership. In 2011, the M104 accommodated 12,626 rides daily, but that number fell to 8,223 by 2016, Rosenthal says.
“The M104 used to be one of the most popular and well-loved bus routes in the City, but year and year of services cuts have caused riders to flee the bus in droves in search of other more reliable methods of transportation,” she said in a statement. “This death by a thousand cuts approach to bus infrastructure has rendered the M104 a mere shell of its former self. Now, the MTA uses the declining ridership caused by its cuts to justify yet another round of cuts. This logic doesn’t pass the laugh test.”
An MTA spokesperson sent the following statement in response:
“NYC Transit regularly adjusts service to reflect changes in ridership. We are committed to working with communities to ensure that these changes are reflective of the actual conditions on the ground. The changes planned for the M104 include a more realistic schedule designed to make service more reliable and predictable, which we hope will help ridership, and does not preclude any further refinements as needed. These changes are aimed at improving reliability for the rider.”