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Locals Continue Push To Restore Co-Op City Bus Routes

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TWC News: Locals Continue Push To Restore Co-Op City Bus Routes
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When the MTA announced a series of service restorations this week, residents of Co-Op City received a pledge from the agency that it would study how to improve bus service there, but there are many who still haven't gotten over cuts to bus service in 2010. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Some bus lines slashed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2010 Doomsday budget are coming back, thanks to the agency restoring $18 million in service cuts this week.

However, in sprawling Co-Op City, the best that riders are getting, for now, is a pledge that the agency will study how to improve bus service to the far-flung North Bronx development.

That's not enough for those who've been pushing for full service restoration to three lines affected by the cuts.

"Study, study, study. There's always study after study," said City Councilman Andy King of the Bronx. "I urge, I implore, I request, I demand, I ask that the MTA hear the cries of the residents in Co-Op City."

The MTA said it is listening, and that its five-month analysis of ridership data could lead to service solutions.

For those who rely on buses to get around and away from the RiverBay Corporation's 320-acre complex, though, there's still a gap from the cuts in service to the Bx26 and the Bx28.

"Where they would take one bus prior to the 2010 cuts, now have to take two and, in some instances, three times, they have to get off a bus and transfer to another bus," said Joe Boiko of the RiverBay corporation.

Another line initially rerouted in 2010 returned to its earlier route last year.

It's never been all that easy to move around the vast Co-Op City complex without a car. Older riders in particular said the buses are especially vital. More than 25,000 people over the age of 62 live at Co-Op City.

"We have to use two or three buses to get to the 26, which is not fair," said one resident.

"There shouldn't have been an issue because the buses never should have been taken out of Co-Op City in the first place," said another.

Local politicians and members of the Transport Workers Union have led a petition drive to restore bus service. They hope to present their haul to MTA officials at Wednesday's board meeting.

"Finally, the voices have been heard," said Raybblin Vargas of Transport Workers Union Local 100.

They'll have to wait a few more months, however, to find out just how much.

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