Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel Provides Testimony Opposing MTA Proposed Cuts

March 8, 2010
Great Neck – Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel gave testimony concerning the proposed service cuts at the MTA public hearing held at the Chateaubriand in Westbury on March 1. Because Assemblywoman Schimel was in legislative session in Albany, her words were read into the record by her Communications Coordinator Sandy Portnoy.

Her testimony, written in response to the proposed drastic service cuts to the Port Washington train line, were well received by the more than 300 persons attending the meeting. In part, her testimony read as follows:

“I urge you to reconsider the proposed full service cuts to the Port Washington line. There are two reasons that many cite as to why they move their families to the northwest corner of Nassau: schools and the Port Washington LIRR line. The impending loss of trains is almost too much for my district to bear…

I ask you to review your assessment for your Port Washington train schedule reductions. Upon reading an article in Newsday, Friday, February 22 entitled ‘LIRR Target: Costly Routes.’ It confirmed what I suspected, that Port Washington has the highest percentage of fare covering its operating costs at 67%...well above the Long Island average of 44%...

I am vehemently opposed to the MTA cutting its financially strongest branch: The Port Washington Line. The riders in my district deserve a justification for these drastic cuts—as my own experience shows that weekend/off-peak travel is robust—warranting twice hourly trains...

MTA Chairman Jay Walder has stated, ‘I did not become Chairman of the MTA to make cuts, but to improve the service that we offer. But these proposed service cuts to the Port Washington line say—‘To serve you better we will now be cutting your service in half.’ Never underestimate the public and never take them for granted. If you don’t provide the service that they have come to count on, they will turn their back on the MTA.”