They have tried to 86 it before. And the pols are at it again.
Westchester head honcho Rob Astorino is looking to "86" Rye's #76 bus line that runs in Rye along Forest, Milton, Midland and Purchase Streets. Check out this letter from David J. Kucera, president of Port Chester-Rye Transit, Inc., the company that runs the #76.
How will this impact you or your neighbors? Leave a comment below.
November 18, 2011
Port Chester-Rye Transit, Inc.
A Westchester Bee Line Company
P.O. Box 261
Rye, N.Y. 10580
Once again, the citizens of Port Chester and Rye are faced with the possibility of losing the Route 76 Bee Line Bus service. In his proposed 2012 budget, County Executive, Rob Astorino, sets forth plans to cancel Westchester County’s contract with Port Chester-Rye Transit, a family owned business which has provided safe and reliable bus service to these communities for over 45 years.
Port Chester-Rye Transit has saved county taxpayers countless thousands of dollars over the years by not having to provide such fringe benefits as pensions, life and dental insurance, etc. We have one of the most economically run bus routes in Westchester. We were in full operation well before the development of the Westchester County Department of Transportation. Our company provided public bus service for the New Haven Railroad, servicing the citizens of Port Chester and Rye prior to the subsidy program. The county and our passengers are well aware of our stellar reputation.
Service cuts to Route 76 were made by the County this current year. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised to receive a call from the Westchester County Department of Transportation yesterday, advising us of plans to combine Route 76 with Liberty Line’s Route 13. The message continued on. If the proposed budget passes, the services of Port Chester-Rye Transit will no longer be needed after December 31, 2011.
During our prior contractual years, we were never given the opportunity to participate in the budget process. In order to preserve Route 76 for its riders, we would like to do that now. We are more than willing to sit down with the County Executive and his staff to discuss other ways to cut costs, including wages and health insurance concessions.
On the County’s website, there is no mention of the important consequences to riders if Port Chester-Rye Transit’s contract is cancelled. First, Milton Point in Rye will no longer have service for the commuters to and from the Rye train station. Second, there will no longer be public transportation to Kohl’s Shopping Center via South Regent Street in Port Chester. Last, but not least, Route 13 will only provide limited trips in the morning and afternoon to Route 76 riders.
In this day and age when everyone is talking about their rights, we are talking about what is right – about doing the next right thing! If the budget axe falls on Port Chester-Rye Transit, two things will happen. The savings to the County (with a busing budget of over 135 million dollars) will be less than $250 thousand dollars and, this community-minded company will be out of business. That’s not right!
David J. Kucera
Port Chester-Rye Transit, Inc.