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PCAC Statement – May 27, 2009 – Service Cuts

Statement of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
Before the MTA Board
May 27, 2009

I am William Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. The PCAC is composed of the members of three riders’ councils established by the State legislature in 1981 and addresses regional issues as well as coordinating the work of the councils.

We are pleased to see that you are today acting on reversing the severe cuts included in the MTA’s Additional Action for Budget Balance (AABB). We continue to be troubled, however, that there is only a partial restoration of cuts to Station Customer Assistant and Booth Agent positions in subway stations. While eliminating these positions through attrition will delay the impact of these reductions, nonetheless this is a reduction in the level of service provided to riders. We recognize that riders’ needs have changed with increasing use of time-based MetroCards and MetroCard vending machines, but Booth Agents and Station Customer Assistants remain a vital element of customer service. The proper approach to resolving issues with station staffing is to make it more effective, not to eliminate a substantial portion of the staffing.

While the immediate impact of these changes has been lessened from that of your initial proposal, ultimately this action does not benefit the system or its riders.