Photo courtesy of a-NeRo86 via Flickr
Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of Bus Planning for New York City Transit, has fired off a 2,600-word missive at the MTA for its latest round of cuts.
Rosen posted his planned testimony for this Wednesday’s MTA hearing, in which he lays into the befuddled agency for poor planning. And he should know – in addition to his role as Director of Bus Planning, Rosen wrote his masters thesis on the “Inefficiency and Ineffectiveness of Brooklyn Bus Routes” at Columbia University. He’s also a 25-year veteran of the MTA, retiring in 2005 after recovering the authority millions of dollars as Director of Asset Recovery.
The scope of Rosen’s challenge to the MTA is breathtaking. His years of experience afford him an advantage few critics of the MTA have, including a deep knowledge of criteria and guidelines used to determine “acceptable” cuts. And he uses that knowledge to do an almost point-by-point decimation of the MTA’s plan.
Among Rosen’s critiques, which he explains at length, are that the MTA:
- overestimates the cost savings provided by cuts
- assumes inconvenience is not a factor in determining whether someone chooses to use the system or not
- grossly understates the negative effects … [which include for some] no mass transit option at all
- based its cuts on faulty criteria (which Rosen picks apart well)
- routinely chose cuts over optimizing efficiency
He also hints that the plan being put forward now is not based on fresh data, but has been a “go-to” plan shelved for many years until deficits grew too deep.
Notably, one of the bus cuts that Rosen singles out for examination is the B4, which will have service eliminated east of Coney Island Avenue. Not only has he observed much higher ridership than the MTA’s data claims, but the service elimination leaves residents with a walk much longer than the MTA’s own planning guidelines allow. The cut will sever mass transit options to the Emmons Avenue waterfront, including a shopping and dining district, major movie theater, and several senior homes.
Rosen is submitting his full testimony electronically, but he’s also planning on attending Wednesday’s hearing and delivering a three-minute version. “I have not been this upset about service cuts since 1993, which was the last time I testified at a hearing,” he told Sheepshead Bites.
He urges all of Sheepshead Bay’s residents to attend the hearing or send comments by e-mail, because he says the MTA is attempting to “overwhelm” with cuts and make it impossible to fight.
Below I excerpt pieces of Rosen’s post, but I strongly advise residents to read his entire testimony.
Read Allan Rosen’s testimony about MTA Bus cuts