The Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority passed a budget and financial plan that would shrink service options for disabled riders beginning in April 2010.
The service cuts are similar to those that were approved and then rescinded earlier this year when the state government provided a $2.3 billion annual funding package.However, the paratransit cuts have changed. In lieu of the proposed fare hike that drew strong criticism, the MTA has proposed changing the nature of the service, bringing customers to accessible subway and bus stops rather than their destinations.
Gary Dellaverson, the MTA’s chief financial officer, said “the amount of savings that are associated with that are quite substantial.” The savings are estimated at $40 million in 2010 and $80 annually for the next three years.
Critics say the MTA could achieve the same savings with less pain for customers by increasing its use of taxi vouchers for riders who are able to use cabs instead of the costly van service.