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Details Emerge About MTA Service Cuts Timeline

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As state lawmakers try to reach an agreement on how to bail out the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NY1 obtained Monday the transit agency's timeline for service cutbacks that begin in early summer.

The MTA is trying to close a $1.2 billion budget deficit, and its board approved a 23-percent base fare hike, which will increase the cost of a bus or subway ride from $2 to $2.50

The first service cuts will come on June 28, when 21 bus routes will be eliminated and weekend service on most lettered subway lines will be reduced, according to materials acquired by NY1.

On July 26, roving station agents and 29 token booths will be cut. Four subway stations will be closed overnight.

Cuts to express bus service will take effect on September 6.

On December 6, the proposed subway service cuts will take effect. The W and Z lines will be eliminated and the G and M lines will be shortened, while fewer trains will run in off-peak hours.

Meanwhile, a popular summer bus route may be another victim of the MTA's proposed service cuts.

The Barretto Point Park Shuttle runs between the Hunts Point subway station and the floating pool built into a barge off Hunts Point.

Last summer, the bus picked up about 14,000 customers.

Without the shuttle, kids wanting to go to the pool from the station will have to walk through an industrial area.

Some state politicians said Monday that they would like to work on a bipartisan agreement to help out the MTA.

"If there's certain things that we can work through with them, we'd like to do it," said State Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos, who said he spoke with his counterpart, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.

In exchange for MTA help, Republican leaders are insisting on aid for roads. They also say that a payroll tax, a key funding source, would be ineffective.

Other Republican lawmakers, including Brooklyn Senator Martin Golden, could break away from the partisan ranks.

"We're willing to do what we have to do to make sure that there's no draconian increases to the people that use the MTA," said Golden.

Meanwhile, Governor David Paterson and the transit union blamed Republicans for the impasse.

"The Republican Party in New York is doing the same thing the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. did. They've just decided to block votes against everything."

Some Republicans found flaws in the governor's accusations.

"I think it's odd for the governor to blame Republicans when the Democrats, who control what comes onto the floor, have not put anything on the floor for a vote," said Republican Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza. "I'd love to vote one way or another on a plan."

The MTA Board approved its so-called "doomsday budget," which included the cuts and fare hikes, on March 25.

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