From the Desk of Legislator Judi Bosworth
For the past year, I have been advocating on behalf of those who use the services of Long Island bus. I have met with representatives of the Tri-state Transportation Campaign, New York Communities for Change, the Transportation Workers Union, Vision Long Island, Jobs with Justice, and with many bus riders, including those who live within my district as well as outside of it. I have attended meetings at which scores of physically challenged individuals spoke so eloquently about their need for Able-Ride to take them to their doctor’s appointments, classes and jobs. I have stood at bus depots and heard the pleas of those who cannot afford to maintain their own vehicles and must have a way to get to work or school on Long Island. I have had constituents calling my office pleading with me to help insure continued service of all Long Island Bus routes. These constituents warn of unintended consequences, such as when those who ride the N58 to the Great Neck train station suddenly begin to cause traffic jams or parking problems during rush hour. Or when home health care workers can no longer find a way to get to the elderly or infirm, perhaps leading those individuals to give up their independence and wind up in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Most of my constituents get to work by car or train, it is true. But there are many, and they are often the less fortunate or those who are just at the beginning or toward the end of their adult lives, who rely on buses to get them to their first job, or college, or the senior center. These adults must be treated with the same consideration as the attorney who drives to his law office in Garden City or the hotel concierge who takes the Long Island Railroad in to Manhattan. Without the ability to further their education, earn a living, seek medical attention or visit with family and friends, these people who rely on Long Island Bus will be robbed of the ability to maintain and further their quality of life. What will they do? Will they leave Long Island? Walking is often not an option and cabs are prohibitively expensive. This is not the time to engage in brinksmanship at the expense of innocent victims. We need to work to find an option other than eliminating this valued and necessary service. We must do what we can so that the County and the MTA can come to an arrangement and continue to provide necessary services to our residents. This cannot be about politics – it must be about the people.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 516-571-6210 if you have further questions or concerns about this or any other issue.