Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) was among those testifying at the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s public hearing held in Brooklyn last evening against the proposed fare increases and service reductions which would significantly impact his district. The complete text of Senator Golden’s testimony is below. Good evening. I am State Senator Marty Golden representing the 22nd Senate District in Southwest Brooklyn. On behalf of the thousands of people in my district who have signed a petition, I voice opposition to the proposed cuts and to ask that the Metropolitan Transit Authority consider additional sources of revenue beyond raising fares by almost 23% on our buses and subways and to prevent fare increases on Access A Ride. It is unfair to ask New Yorkers with much worry over their own personal finances, to pay more for a ride in the wake of the MTA’s deficit, and then have less bus and train service in operation. Instead, we should be instituting the commuter tax and earmark a portion for the MTA to counter a fare increase and to fund some of these services slated for termination. And now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon our federal representatives to make sure that New York gets its’ fair share of federal transportation money directed towards the MTA to maintain necessary services and to prevent fare hikes. The current proposal will severely effect local buses. For example, the B37 bus which runs along busy 3rd Avenue, stands to be completely eliminated. What message does this send to the senior citizens of my community who rely on this service to get around for shopping, for doctors appointments, to get to religious services and more? What message does this send to the merchants in these trying economic times by making their stores less accessible to consumers? Another proposal calls for the complete elimination of evening service on the only bus into and out of Gerritsen Beach, the B 31, and my community can not accept this. And we can’t completely eliminate weekend express bus service because since 2002, it has become vital to those working on the weekends, to=2 0those wishing to shop and dine in Manhattan, and simply because it is the way for our seniors and our disabled, who can not take the subway, to get to Manhattan on weekends. These cuts, and others, such as reductions to the B 2 in Marine Park, the B16, B64 and the B70 in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Borough Park, and Bensonhurst, will be sure to impact the quality of life of Brooklynites. I strongly oppose the M.T.A.’s approval of this budget as it is now and I urge your consideration of other measures that may keep service strong and our fares within reason.

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