After months of lobbying, Rye residents angry about County Executive Rob Astorino's decision to end route 76 bus service to Milton Point will finally have a chance to have their say in an official hearing.
The Westchester Board of Legislators will have a joint meeting of its Government Operations and Budget and Acquisitions committee beginning at 7 p.m. in Rye City Hall. The meeting will be recorded and sent to the state transportation office.
Bee-Line bus route 76 ended on December 31, 2011 without a public hearing with area residents about the matter. Just days prior, the County Board of Legislators had voted to override County Executive's veto and allocated funds to cover the cost of the service. Nonetheless, the service stopped on New Years' Eve.
At a , Milton Harbor residents expressed their two-fold frustration about the situation. It was bad enough they had lost a public transportation line that supports the quality of life for many seniors in the area, many of them said, but many of the seniors were also chagrined that the decision to cut the line was made without providing the legal hearing they were entitled.
According to an email being circulated by Arthur Stampleman of Rye, County Executive Astorino's Chief of Staff George Oros communicated to County Legislator Judy Myers that a public hearing was necessary “unless a substantial number of passengers are affected or are proposed to be eliminated.”
To that end, Stampleman is determined to get as many people as possible to attend Tuesday's hearing.
"Mr. Oros displayed a lack of knowledge of the situation when he said the recent extension of Bus 13 covered 95 percent of the Bus 76 route," wrote Stampleman. "In fact, its mileage in Rye is only 71 percent of Bus 76 and that reduces to about 50 percent by excluding Playland Parkway which has no residential or business addresses."
"According to the time table on the web today, the established bus 13 route (Port Chester to Ossining) has over 30 runs per day," said Stampleman. "The recent Rye extension has only 6 runs per day through Rye RR station - from 7:58 am to 5:12 pm. So, it can not provide adequate service for commuters who reside on the Bus 13 route in Rye."