MTA Quietly Cuts Bus Routes Citywide

MTA Quietly Cuts Bus Routes Citywide

By Yehudit Garmaise

New York City’s MTA has cut bus service of underused routes, effective immediately, but the agency has not announced its reduced service.

With bus ridership standing at only 65% of pre-pandemic levels, the MTA is cutting bus routes as a “money-saving initiative,” a NYC Transit manager wrote in an e-mail reported by

“I understand this is not the way we are accustomed to doing business, but it is the way the organization is handling its financial issues,” the NYC Transit manager wrote in the email.

Another spokesperson for the MTA, however, denied the move was aimed at cutting costs, and explained that the agency is just trying to avoid paying bus drivers when they are not needed.”

For instance, now the MTA will be not re-filling bus driver shifts that are currently vacant, according to the email. 

The e-mail instructed MTA bus depot managers to allow sick shifts to remain uncovered, which means that drivers on vacation or sick leave won’t be replaced.

In February 2021, the US Congress gave the MTA $4 billion in pandemic recovery aid so that the largest transportation system in the county could avoid service cuts until 2023.

While the generous federal aid eliminated up to 50% of the service cuts that the MTA threatened many times, the MTA was seeking another $8 billion to compensate for the agency’s financial shortfalls caused by reduced ridership.

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