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MTA may consider restoring some subway, bus service

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By Philip Newman

Is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in discussions about bringing back some of the subway and bus service slashed in 2010?

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota says the answer is something like “not officially” but said there is “not a day that I don’t think about it.”

Lhota told the MTA’s monthly board meeting Wednesday that “we are evaluating our options and alternatives” as to restoring some of the service.

“I’m not sure we have the financial stability to bring back all of our services that were cut in 2010, but we’re evaluating it right now,” Lhota said.

Lhota said if the board decides to officially consider the matter further, “we will discuss it, we will debate it.”

Board members Allan Cappelli of Staten Island and Mitchell Pally of Suffolk County have been promoting at least a start in restoring service.

The MTA cut 20 local as well as 12 express bus routes and completely eliminated the W and V subway lines, among other transit entity reductions in 2010. Since then the MTA has implemented other cuts and consolidations throughout its system along with many layoffs, which has saved millions.

The cuts in subways and buses were carried out at a time when the MTA faced a budget gap of $900 million.

Talk of restoring service raises the question of where the money for it will come from.

The MTA plans to put through a fare increase next year which is estimated to bring in nearly $500 million a year to the financially beleaguered agency.

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