In March, the MTA surprised our local Community Board with a plan to cut 40% of the M14A and M14D stops below 14th Street — 50% of the M14A stops below Delancey Street.
In the two months since then, Grand Street Democrats engaged diverse community groups, participated in protests, collected petition signatures from our neighbors, spoke out on TV, plastered social media, showed up at community meetings, rallied our local elected officials, and won significant improvements to the MTA’s plan for seniors, students, and people with disabilities.
The MTA initially presented a plan cutting four out of eight stops south of Delancey. In the final plan presented to CB3 on Tuesday, two stops have been restored. The result is still a disappointing reduction in local service, but is so much more reasonable than what was initially proposed that we have to take this as a victory of community action.
The first stop we are losing is at Cherry & Jackson, which is the closest stop for many people in Vladeck Houses. But the stop on Madison & Jackson is just around the corner and less than one block away.
The other stop we are losing is the one in front of CVS on Grand Street between East Broadway and Willet. Riders will have to walk to Columbia or Pitt.
In addition, the stop currently between Suffolk and Norfolk will be moved east to Clinton Street, which is midway between Pitt and Essex, better balancing the stops along this stretch of Grand St.
Our Congressmembers, State reps, and Councilmembers are all on the same page as local seniors and neighborhood transit advocates: the MTA’s planned service cuts along the M14A and M14D bus lines are a big mistake.
After weeks of protests, the MTA presented local stakeholders with a new plan that preserves an additional stop on Grand Street, but we are still pushing for more, and our elected representatives are on our side.
This letter was sent Wednesday to NYC Transit and NYC DOT, signed by:
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney
Congressmember Nydia Velázquez
State Senator Brian Kavanagh
State Senator Brad Hoylman
Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein
Councilmember Carlina Rivera
Councilmember Margaret Chin
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
In it, they call for keeping all stops along Grand Street, including the stop at Cherry and Jackson which services residents of Vladeck Houses. They also point out that traffic along Grand Street still needs to be addressed if bus speeds are really a priority for DOT.
Our friends at Sister District have been helping Democrats flip state legislative seats across the country. Our local chapter has helped win seats in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and Grand Street Dems members have helped make phone calls, write postcards, and have even traveled to Pennsylvania to canvass for candidates last year.
In 2019, Sister District volunteers from NYC are again targeting Virginia, where a Democratic state legislature is within reach. With no New York races this year, Sister District’s Virginia campaign gives us a chance to stay engaged in Democratic campaigns.
Last night’s MTA public meeting on planned M14A/D service cuts was not what we were expecting, and not what this neighborhood deserves.
The MTA had no program or presentation, refused to put out more than six chairs for scores of seniors who showed up, and claimed the room was at capacity in order to keep even more people waiting outside in the cold. If we hadn’t been there to see it, we wouldn’t have believed it.
This wasn’t outreach, this was a disgrace.
What’s worse, it was clear that decisions have already been made to cut local bus service while actively discouraging any meaningful input by our affected community. This is a neighborhood that needs more bus service, not less. The MTA doesn’t want to hear it.
We welcome the addition of Select Bus Service (SBS), which will make longer trips to Union Square and the west side quicker. All-door boarding in itself is a big plus.
But by eliminating 40% of our local stops entirely, the MTA is creating unnecessary new challenges for seniors, people with disabilities, parents with small children, and kids who use the bus to get to and from school.
We need to make sure that the MTA and our elected officials know how we feel about these local service cuts right away if we are going to have any chance to keep the service we need. While we try to get another meeting scheduled — a real meeting this time — here are three things you can do right now:
Councilmember Carlina Rivera and nine other local elected officials released a statement today urging the MTA to keep local service along the M14A/D routes in addition to Select Bus Service (SBS) to speed travel times on longer trips.
We want an M14 SBS, but w such a high population of seniors and people w disabilities on the LES, we need to preserve local bus service too. That’s why I wrote a letter to @MTA/@NYC_DOT w 9 of my colleagues urging them to modify their plan to include supplemental local service. pic.twitter.com/xcSzL6RJmj
Save Our Bus Stops! Rally & Press Conference with Councilmember Carlina Rivera
Friday 1:00 pm Ave. A & East 4th St.
Last week the MTA announced plans to eliminate local stops on the M14A and M14D routes, including four in our neighborhood. Please join Councilmember Carlina Rivera on Friday to say NO to these service cuts.
I’ll give this a little more context, but it still doesn’t make much sense:
The M14 is the second-busiest route in Manhattan, and also the second-slowest in all of NYC, spending 60% of its time in delays or at bus stops. The MTA hopes to alleviate this problem by converting all M14 routes to Select Bus Service (SBS), which means you swipe your card before boarding the bus and can enter the bus at any door.
These are good changes! Pre-swiping will make boarding the bus much faster most of the time. BUT by making all M14 routes SBS, the MTA is also eliminating local stops along the way, creating a huge burden for seniors and passengers with disabilities. This would be the only route in NYC where SBS express buses completely replace local service.
(None of this, by the way, addresses traffic delays, which account for the bulk of that 60% cited above!)
So — if you can in the middle of a work day — please join Councilmember Carlina Rivera on Friday at 1pm to protest these cuts. We’ll be at the corner of Ave. A and E. 4th Street. (You can even take the bus there … for now!)
Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou’s Annual Women’s History Month Event Sunday, March 24, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
175 Delancey Street (at Clinton Street)
Meet, network, and chat with influential and successful women from all walks of life. The informal networking event at the end of the panel is an opportunity for young women to connect one-on-one with panelists and develop mentorships.
Community Town Hall with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez Thursday, March 21, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway
For an update on the 116th Congress and discussion on the important issues facing our nation, including: Healthcare, Social Security, Immigration, Housing, Education, Economic Development, Criminal Justice, Infrastructure, Voting Rights, and the Environment.
Just about two years ago, we launched this club and our district leader campaign, determined to encourage and enable accessible, progressive political engagement from the grass roots on up.
Since then has been kind of a fairy tale: working together with so many of you on local issues; bringing candidates and elected officials to the Lower East Side to listen to your concerns; joining forces with organizations like Sister District and Planned Parenthood to campaign, march, and lobby; and getting out the vote for new Democratic majorities in the N.Y. Senate and the U.S. House.
And now, with sincere gratitude for the indefatigable support you’ve given us since day one, we’d like to officially announce that we are running for re-election as your district leaders, with the endorsement of Grand Street Democrats.
The election calendar this year is somewhat accelerated: We begin petitioning for signatures on Tuesday, February 26 to get on the ballot. (Yes, that’s the same day as the special election for Public Advocate.)
We’d love your help for our re-election campaign. If you’re ready to collect signatures to get us on the ballot, or will pledge to sign our petition at the end of February, please sign up here:
With appreciation for all you’ve done, and all we will continue to do together,
Caroline Laskow & Lee Berman Democratic District Leaders, AD65 Part A