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Cuts To Intra-County Commute Concern Legislators

Rockland County’s legislators are speaking out regarding April 1 TOR and TZx service cuts and fare increases. The county proposes increasing the one way fare on the Tappan Zee Express by 50 percent, from $2 to $3 a ride. Transport of Rockland (TOR) fares would increase to $2 a trip. Changes have also been proposed for the county’s TRIP’s shared ride service for seniors and citizens with disabilities.

“The proposed cuts to Rockland County’s transportation budget, coupled with recommended fare hikes, will create a serious and possibly untenable crisis for hundreds of men and women,” said Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell.  The Chairwoman of the County Legislature says fare hikes will hurt those who can afford them the least. “We know that it is those with the lowest incomes and the fewest means that rely most on our public buses. It is the men and women who cannot afford their own vehicles who use the buses to commute to work, to do their shopping, to see their doctors, and to access necessary services,” she said.

Planned service cuts beginning on April 1 include eliminating TOR #59, M-F late night routes going East from Suffern to Nanuet at 12:30a and 1:30a and the westbound trips at 11:05p, 12:05a and 12:55a from Nyack to Suffern would now terminate in Spring Valley. TOR’s #95 route would eliminate eastbound service M-F at 3:20p, 4:20p and 6:20p and westbound at 3:10p and 5:10p. Mon-Sat DIRECT Service from Palisades Mall to Haverstraw would be discontinuted on TOR #91 and TOR #92 Sunday service would be eliminated. Saturday service on TOR route #94 and Loops #1, #2 and #3 would also be dropped.

“I am particularly concerned about the service reductions affecting the Route 59 corridor between Suffern and Spring Valley, along which my Legislative District runs,” said Vice Chairman of the Legislature Alden H. Wolfe. “These service cuts will adversely affect my constituents’ ability to get where they need to be in a safe manner.’

Proposed Fare Increases for April 1
Route Current Proposed
TOR Cash Fare $1.50 $2.00
TOR Standard Transfer $0.30 $0.50
TOR Senior Citizen/Disabled Fare $0.40 $0.75
TOR Senior Citizen/Disabled Transfer $0.15 $0.25
TOR SuperSaver Tickets $9.00 $11.00
TZx Cash Fare $2.00 $3.00
TZx Standard Transfer $0.50 $0.50
TZx Senior Citizen/Disabled Fare $0.60 $1.00
TZx Senior Citizen/Disabled Transfer $0.25 $0.25
TZx SuperSaver Tickets $9.00 $11.00
TRIPS Cash Fare $1.50 $2.00
TRIPS Tickets (book of ten) $9.00 $12.00
TRIPS ADA Fare $3.00 $4.00

On April 1, senior fares and rides for people with disabilities will increase to 75 cents on TOR and $1 on TZX routes. The cash fare for TRIPS buses will be increased to $2. TRIPS riders who use the volume-discounted tickets will pay $1.20 per ride. TRIPS tickets will be sold in books of 10 at a proposed cost of $12 per book. TRIPS passengers traveling under ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations will pay $4 per ride.

Both Cornell and Wolfe singled out seniors as a group that will be adversely impacted by the proposed changes.  “This is particularly problematic for seniors, who are enduring a second year with no cost of living adjustment in their Social Security checks,” says Wolfe.

Cornell says a county legislature report released last Fall identified ‘€œlimited transportation options’€ as one of the most significant challenges that our seniors encounter. “It’s difficult for seniors when they can no longer drive a car,” Cornell said. “Short of relying on family and friends, their only means of getting out of their homes and traveling to wherever they need to go is public transportation.” Although the report recommended increasing bus service for Rockland seniors, Cornell says the proposed changes would do the exact opposite, by increasing fares for TRIPS, the county’s paratransit system used by older residents and by those with disabilities.

See also: RCC Students: Fare Hike is No Fair, 2/12/2010

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