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MTA's Potential Postponement Of New Rapid Bus Route Service Angers Mayor, Commuters

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There is an angry fight brewing between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority over plans to postpone new rapid bus service routes that hizzonor has championed.

Commuters from Brooklyn sounded off to CBS2's Marcia Kramer on Wednesday.

"Oh God. I don't think it's a great idea at all. I think it stinks. Anything that cuts service is bad," said Seth Flicker of Fort Greene.

"Terrible idea. We're already short on buses as it is," added Elisa Lyew of Bushwick.

"Why would they do that? It gets you from point A to point B in quicker time," said Eddie Pagan of Bushwick. "Don't do it."

Joe Lhota, Bill de Blasio
Mayoral candidates Joe Lhota (left) and Bill de Blasio. (Credit: CBS 2)

The tempest is rising after members of the MTA board started questioning plans for $562 million in proposed cost reductions. That included deferring the addition of five new select bus service routes until 2021, CBS2's Kramer reported.

MOREAs MTA Seeks Rate Hike, Report Shows More Opt For Ridesharing Services

Two members of the board, appointees of Mayor de Blasio, claimed they hadn't been properly briefed and accused MTA executives of a lack of transparency.

"We rely on staff to flag these issue of importance, and the omission perpetuates a sentiment shared by many regarding the opacity of some of the information we do receive," fumed Veronica Vanterpool in an email obtained by CBS2.

"It's hard to escape the conclusion that we've giveth with one hand through the subway action plan, and we've taketh away, to some extent, through these service cuts," Carl Weisdrod wrote in another email.

Mayor de Blasio, who has long championed select bus service, otherwise known as SBS, also chimed in.

"Delaying the expansion of SBS ... is astounding and will hurt New Yorkers who desperately need faster and more reliable bus service," the mayor said in a statement.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota told CBS2's Kramer nothing is written in stone.

"The proposals that we have now are exactly that, proposals," Lhota said.

The MTA chairman said he believes in SBS and that the agency wants to review the program to ensure that new routes are added where the riders want them. The agency's budget goes through a lengthy review and public hearing process before it is adopted at the end of the year.

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