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Long Island News

Suffolk County Cuts 8 Bus Routes

Courtesy of Suffolk County Transit

Suffolk County wants to eliminate eight bus routes as part of a plan to close a $78 million budget deficit.

At a public hearing on Friday, county residents spoke out against the plan. Students, people with disabilities and local legislators were among those who blasted county officials for what they see as a money-grab that would affect the most disenfranchised residents.

Aaron Watkins-Lopez, an organizer for the Long Island Bus Riders’ Union, was one of those speakers.

“The reality is that not everyone can see, not everyone can hear, not everyone has the ability to use their legs or their arms, and we have a government that does not see those people as a priority right now. They do not see the poor people of Suffolk County as a priority.”

The county says eliminating the eight least-used routes would save $4 million. Deputy Public Works Commissioner Darnell Tyson says one route had a daily ridership of 12 with an $82 per rider cost to the county.

Legislator Kevin McCaffrey says it’s hard to argue that routes like that should not be cut, but he wonders why the county had not recognized the problem sooner.

The cuts are set to go into effect on October 3.