GSD Resolution on M14 Service Cuts

Adopted at regular meeting 5/16/19.

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.

In addition to the work of our own District Leaders and members, there is credit to go around:

  • All of our elected officials — from City Council up to Congress — rallied against the MTA’s proposed cuts and supported community members’ demands to restore all local stops to the M14 bus route.
  • Jose Ortiz and the members of The Senior Advocacy Leadership Team (SALT), who started a petition that collected 5000 signatures and organized a successful May Day rally and march for seniors on Grand Street to protest the bus service cuts.
  • Daisy Paez, our next-door-neighbor District Leader, who rallied neighbors on the streets and online, stood up at community meetings, and led the May Day rally on Grand Street.

There is also still a lot to keep fighting to change:

  • The MTA made no attempt to reach out to the community before announcing its proposed service cuts.
  • The MTA “open house” meetings were designed not to encourage but to stifle community input.
  • Proposed service cuts were based on agenda-driven metrics, not community needs.
  • Our neighborhood is still losing two stops south of Delancey. Those most in need of convenient public transportation have to settle for a compromise victory.
  • While the purported goal of service cuts was to speed up M14 buses, NYC Department of Transportation still has no plan to mitigate traffic on Grand Street, which is the biggest factor in slow bus speeds below Delancey.
  • Our neighbors above Delancey have lost even more local stops on the M14A and M14D bus routes because of the MTA’s misguided approach to transit policy in the East Village and Lower East Side.

Good news: M14A local stops restored in latest plan

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.

The final plan has not yet been posted online.

Local electeds all agree: Save our local M14 bus stops!

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.

Postcards to Virginia this Saturday in Seward

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.

Join Grand Street volunteers this Saturday for a postcard party in Seward Coop — Saturday, May 11, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. RSVP online to get the apartment number.

Thursday 5/16, 6:30 pm: GSD Spring Meeting

Please join us next Thursday 5/16 at 6:30 for our 2019 Spring Meeting.

GSD SPRING MEETING
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 pm
Seward Coop Community Room
266 East Broadway

We will welcome Assemblymember Dan Quart who will update us on criminal justice reform legislation passed in Albany. Quart has also been a vocal and public critic of Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance and many of the policies of his office.

We will also have updates about three important local topics: M14 service cuts, East River Park rebuilding, and traffic mitigation on Grand Street. Elected officials are actively looking for more community input on these issues, so we will be voting on resolutions to express our support for certain goals.

We will also announce results of our first 2020 Presidential Straw Poll.

See you next week!

MTA’s Sham Meeting Was a Disgrace

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.

You can see what the MTA is planning on its website.

  • 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:

  1. Sign this petition started by the Senior Advocacy Leadership Team (SALT).
  2. Leave a comment for the MTA on its website.
  3. Send a tweet to our local elected officials.

We’ll let you know what happens next.

In solidarity,

Caroline Laskow
Lee Berman

Local elected officials ask MTA to restore local service to M14A/D bus routes

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.

MTA to LES: Drop Dead!

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!)