Long Island bus service cuts?: MTA public hearing

MTA Long Island Bus #1790 arrives in Amityvill...

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Kimberly writes: On a light note on the topic, I got a first hand report on the MTA Hearing from my friend Daniel Karpen. He attended the hearing in Garden City.  Daniel reports that he told stories of the horrors of the current train system that caused all of the MTA commissioners and some of the police officers in the room to laugh. Wish I could do Daniel’s shtick as good as  him, but one of his points was that the current equipment in service is valuable, because it is so old it could be put in a museum. Daniel said that members of the public were overall very angry, and that he saw a couple of people from groups associated with the progressive lobby in Long Island.

An article and photo about the MTA hearing and rally in Garden City on September 16, 201 is here.

List of more chances to attend/speak at public hearings: here. There will be an MTA hearing at the Suffolk County Legislature on Monday, September 20, 2010.

Kimberly’s curmudgeonly opinion: The MTA/Nassau County dispute is a serious concern. At stake is bus service, a basic measure in place to serve students, people with disabilities, the poor and working class, and the environment – by giving everyone an option for shared transportation.

Too bad that in political conversations, with so much money involved, and so many disenfranchised people’s well-being at stake, it is inevitable that politicians posture, bad people confuse and expolit the issue, and the public can hardly figure out what is going on with the ruthless clash of the Titans.

I usually understand things well, and I don’t understand all of this situation. I think that privatization is bad on a variety of levels. When you mix government and business in that way, I think you usually get inefficiency, and some very pointed campaign contributions to the politicians doing the privatizing. Of course, the MTA has similar problems and abuses in itself. But, not sure Nassau County taxpayers could bear the burden of such a huge, privatized public service.

I know that the MTA has a past of being ineffective and greedy. So, I think they must be held suspect. Though, I also think that the Nassau County Government is trying to posture and confuse the issue with how they are framing payments and services back and forth. And, I think that regular people — and even activists who should know better –may spend a lot of energy they think is for “the common good”, and their energy might actually go to one big, greedy “Titan” or another. Here is the article which explains some of the dynamic between Nassau County Government and the MTA: “Nassau Sues MTA Over Bus Cuts”.

I would be open to the thoughts of others on this issue. Please comment, or send me an e-mail if you or a group you know has good answers.

I will try to look from some good articles around the web. It is difficult to find the correct position or an independent voice, though, because so many people who have the factual answers are caught up in the system of industry, party politics, government, and nonprofits-who-get-grants-from-government.

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