The MTA has decided to remove arrival schedules from all its bus stops in to save some money, angering elected officials in Queens, a borough dominated by bus service. Removal of the paper schedules began last month in the borough, where the MTA has posted information recommending riders to use the MyMTA app, text the MTA’s arrival number, call 511 or check social media.
A number of Queens politicians have penned a letter urging the MTA to reconsider its plans. “Replacing bus schedules, does not help those riders without access to a charged cell phone, especially senior citizens, low-income New Yorkers, and even tourists,” the politicians wrote a letter, dated Aug. 5.
“We believe it must be the ultimate responsibility of the MTA to provide accessible and accurate schedules to all paying riders, regardless of their individual access to technology,” the letter went on to say.
The MTA estimates it will save $550,000 a year by no longer having to reprint and repost bus schedules when there are service changes.
“As we modernize bus service, we’re finding ways to provide `accurate arrival time information to customers in faster, more efficient ways,” said Sarah Meyer, the MTA’s chief customer officer, in a statement. “Moving to paperless schedules helps reduce our paper waste and makes the most of new technology that puts real-time information in customers’ hands whenever they need it.”
Removing schedules from bus stops will severely hinder the commutes of anyone without access to technology. I joined federal, state and city elected officials from Queens to call on the @MTA to keep our bus schedules posted and not sacrifice service to save on costs. pic.twitter.com/nNg25IDW9c
— Peter Koo (@CMPeterKoo) August 15, 2019