Readers have had lots to say since news broke earlier this month that Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino planned to cut the BxM4C Bee-Line bus, an express service that conveys commuters from the Central Avenue corridor to Manhattan.
In a Monday meeting, members of the County Board of Legislators’ Public Works, Parks, Labor and Transportation committee questioned Transportation Commissioner Larry Salley about plans to cut $4 million, including the $2.6 million that funds the BxM4C. Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, told The Journal News that he expected the board to fight for the preservation of some parts of the service, which is used by an average of 800 people a day.
Many riders have said they’d accept an $8 fare to fund preservation of the service. The current fare is $5.50, something our readers may not have known.
Here’s some of the response that news got from LoHud.com forum posters, most of whom favored the proposal to cut the service:
This poster supported the plan to cut the service:
What does not Jenkins get? This will save millions with an M, and who ever subsidized the rest of us who commute to work? I have had to have two cars in my family so I could go to work, believe me if the country would subsidize my commute like it does these bus riders I would not spend the thousands of dollars it costs to keep an additional vehicle. These people have other ways to the city, but they are unwilling to use them. The free ride is over folks get used to it.
Another attempted to assess the costs associated with the BxM4C:
If eliminating the BXM4C would save $2,600,000 for Westchester County, but inconvenience approximately 800 people, let’s do the math. $2.6 million divided by 800 equals $3,250 per year. That is the amount that the tax payers of Westchester subsidize that bus route on behalf of each of those 800 riders every year. If the bus runs only during work days, Monday to Friday, in order to maximize ridership and help commuters, the bus would run about 260 days per year. The $3,250 divided by 260 commute days equals $12.50 per day or $6.25 each way for a round trip.
Right now, riders pay $5.50 for a one way trip. Would they be willing to pay $5.50 plus $6.25, or $11.75 for a one way trip to Manhattan? If not, then the BXM4C should be eliminated. If 800 people a day are willing to pay almost $25 for a round trip to Manhattan, then a case can be made to keep the bus line. Either the numbers work, or they don’t.
And what is this nonsense about a bus route being a “civil right?”
A poster who says he rides the bus weighed in:
When you have people who just can’t take the train that should be taken into account as well. What about seniors who want to go to a Broadway show, how can they get to midtown if they can’t get to the Metro-North. No offense to some but after living in the Bronx most of my life I don’t find the NYC subways as very safe even more now with all of their cutbacks so I am not sure what the alternative is. If the taxpayers already pay to subsidize the transit system then if the express bus is eliminated do we get a refund. Why should I pay for someone who takes a local bus if I don’t as you said before?
A poster from northern Westchester wondered why his tax dollars were being spent on a service that only serves the southern end of the county:
Here again people in the north county who don’t even have bus service have to subsidize a bus route from White Plains to Manhattan? Why must we subsidize others to get to work especially when there are alternatives? People in the north county pay for all kinds of services that they do not receive themselves
Another wonders why the MTA does not offer such a bus service:
The MTA should provide the necessary modes of transit!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Wasteful Westchester County Government should NOT be in the bus business that extends outside the County!
Earlier this afternoon, Journal News transportation reporter Ken Valenti wrote on our Going Places blog that Joel Anabilah-Azumah, president of Broolyn-based TransportAzumah, a private transport line that is considering taking up the BxM4C route should the Bee-Line service be cancelled, has conducted a study on what such an endeavor would cost. In an e-mail to Valenti, Anabilah-Azumah concludes that his firm could take up the service, but at far less frequency that the Bee-Line presently runs it.
The county will host a public hearing on the matter from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 14 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.