(PHOTO: The Old 76 bus line, pre- Astorino rogue action.)
Judy Myers and her posse – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) – plans to protest the application of Liberty Lines Transit, Inc., for service modifications of the Route 13 bus line in a special resolution, which will be discussed and voted on Thursday morning at the meeting of the BOL’s Government Operations Committee.
The protest and resolution come in the aftermath of County Executive Rob Astorino’s abrupt cancellation of the Route 76 bus line service between Port Chester and Milton Point in Rye on December 27, 2011, with service officially stopping on December 31, 2011. Regular passengers of the 76 bus—and BOL members—learned that the service was being discontinued on Wednesday, December 27, during a week when many were taking a winter vacation between Christmas and New Year’s.
There were no public hearings held on the subject.
On December 22, just days before Astorino summarily axed the bus line service, the BOL had voted to override the County Executive’s veto of $243,436 of spending in the 2012 County Budget for the Route 76 line. The spending on the bus route did not increase the County tax levy one cent.
Last month, a number of concerned residents joined Westchester County Legislator Judy Myers (D-Larchmont) to call for immediate restoration of the Route 76 bus line service. The new Route 13 bus line, with its modifications, is already being operated, contrary to laws in the County Charter that require bus route franchise modifications to be approved by the BOL.
The resolution being taken up by the BOL tomorrow stands as a formal protest to Liberty Lines’ application to the New York State Department of Transportation for new service and deviation of the Route 13 bus line and seeks the BOL’s participation in the case. “Because other bus routes in Westchester carry fewer riders and yet maintain their service levels, many feel the County Executive owes the residents along the 76 Route a good explanation about why he is willing to disobey the laws of the County and eliminate this service,” said Myers.
There appears to be nothing the BOL can do to restore service other than their formal protest.