The MTA’s series of public hearings on its plan to increase fares while scaling back service have ended.

The Save the G Coalition notes that, at the MTA’s hearing in Brooklyn, “several MTA officials made a point of explaining that concerned riders should appeal directly to their State officials, who will ultimately be responsible for either accepting or rejecting the Ravitch Report.”  The Ravitch Report is a “rescue plan” for the MTA, which includes a new “mobility” payroll tax; tolls on the free East River and Harlem River bridges; a much smaller fare and toll increase; fewer service reductions; and improvements in bus service.  The report is not without its own controversy – Save the G reports that Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents Greenpoint-Williamsburg, said, “There could end up being three toll bridges in one district of Brooklyn, and it will be really horribly affected.  These cuts will affect populations least prepared to deal with them.”

State Senators are now holding their own hearings to gather public feedback about the plan.  Today at 1:30pm, Senator Martin Dilan, Chair of the State Transportation Committee, will hold a hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall.  Tomorrow, the State Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, led by Senator Bill Perkins, will hold a hearing from 3-9pm at the State Office Building in Harlem (163 125th Street). Oral testimony is by invitation only, but interested persons may attend the hearing or submit written testimony to ccleare@senate.state.ny.us.

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