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Playland Opens Saturday, May 11; Legislators Join County Executive, Administration Officials for Tour

Playland Opens Saturday, May 11; Legislators Join County Executive, Administration Officials for Tour

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Members of the Board of Legislators were happy to join County Executive George Latimer, members of his executive team, and staff of the Parks Department and Health Department for a pre-opening, behind-the-scenes tour of Playland on Thursday, May 9. Playland opens for the season on Saturday, May 11, and we're looking forward to a great summer.  Come out and enjoy. L to R: Majority Leader Catherine Parker, Leg.... Read more

Released:05-10-2019 | See More _Newsroom

Board Celebrates Jewish History & Heritage Month

Board Celebrates Jewish History & Heritage Month

White Plains, NY — On Monday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators celebrated Jewish History and Heritage Month with a special ceremony honoring the Anti-Defamation League of New York/New Jersey; John B. Harris, former Chair of ADL NY/NJ and currently a member of the ADL National Executive Committe, and Evan Bernstein, ADL New York/New Jersey Regional Director; as well as J-Teen Leadership, a program of the UJA-Federation of New... Read more

Released:05-07-2019 | See More _Newsroom

County Approves $1M in Funding for Youth Shelter Program

County Approves $1M in Funding for Youth Shelter Program

White Plains, NY — Westchester County has approved nearly $1 million of County funding for 2019 to support the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, located in Mount Vernon. Read more

Released:05-03-2019 | See More _Newsroom

At Special Meeting, Board Questions County Executive, Begins Examination of Playland Contract Situation

At Special Meeting, Board Questions County Executive, Begins Examination of Playland Contract Situation

White Plains, NY — On Wednesday, Westchester County Board of Legislators held a Committee of the Whole meeting to hear from County Executive George Latimer and members of his senior team to begin examination of the administration’s decision to terminate the County’s agreement with Standard Amusements for the management of Playland. Read more

Released:05-02-2019 | See More _Newsroom

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Westchester Legislator Myers and Concerned Residents Call for Bus Line Restoration in Rye

Illegal Elimination of Route 76 Bus Follows Board’s Funding Approval

Rye,  NY - A number of concerned residents joined Westchester County Legislator Judy Myers (D-Larchmont) today to call for immediate restoration of the Route 76 bus line service between Port Chester and Milton Point in Rye.

County Executive Rob Astorino cancelled the Route 76 bus line on December 26, 2011 and service officially stopped on December 31, 2011. Regular passengers of the 76 bus—and members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL)—learned that the service was being discontinued on Wednesday, December 26, 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.

“Because thousands of riders, both residents and hard-working individuals employed in the area, depend on the Route 76 bus line, we are calling on the County Executive to follow the law and ensure this important service is restored,” said Myers. “Removing the bus route without a public hearing and the required consent of the BOL is irresponsibleand violates Section 188 of the County Charter.”

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 the funds required to maintain the bus service.  As a result, most riders assumed that the bus service was reinstated.

“On Tuesday morning, when people returned to work around here after the holiday weekend some stood waiting for a bus that never came,” said Arthur Stampleman, a Milton Harbor House resident. “How mean-spirited! Cutting this bus service is especially hard on senior citizens who can't drive, caregivers who depend on the bus to get to where their clients and loved ones reside, and other workers who depend on the bus to get to their jobs.”

The call for the Route 76 bus line restoration came today at a press conference held at the former bus stop on Milton Road in front of the Milton Harbor House.

The Route 76 bus line service was contracted to Port Chester-Rye Transit; it is one of the original routes combined in the 1960’s to create the Westchester Transportation system.  In 2009, the Route 76 bus service carried 56,088 passengers.

Selected Route 13 bus line trips will operate over part of the Route 76 line between Port Chester Railroad Station and Playland—in essence, giving most of the Port Chester-Rye Transit contract to Liberty Lines, another private contractor, but there will be no service to Milton Point, where there are several major residential developments and senior living facilities.

Service on the Route 76 line was decreased in mid-2011 because of “very low ridership,” again without a public hearing. At the time, County Executive Astorino’s chief of staff, George Oros, communicated to Legislator Myers that a public hearing on the issue did not need to be held “unless a substantial number of passengers are affected or are proposed to be eliminated.”

Since the early 1970s, Westchester County has diligently developed a county-wide mass transit system, of which the bus lines are an integral part. In contracting with private bus companies, the County has recognized the franchise rights of the bus companies, and the County Charter requires the BOL to approve any modifications to bus franchise contracts. Also, by assigning portions of Route 76 to a different bus line, County Executive Astorino may have exposed the County to legal action and damages.

“At a time where the County should be trying to do all it can to maintain the quality of life for seniors and preserve jobs, County Executive Astorino has acted in complete disregard of both the governing process and the County Charter,” said Myers. “The Board restored funding for the 76 bus line because the residents in the area wished us to do so. Other bus routes in Westchester carry fewer riders and yet maintain their service levels. Our continuing investment in mass transportation is the right thing to do for so many reasons, and I hope the County Executive will support the seniors who live in this area and uphold the laws of Westchester County by restoring Route 76.”

A number of local residents have petitioned the County Executive to restore the Route 76 bus line, but to no avail.

“I’m surprised and disappointed by the County Executive actions,” said Tom Saunders, a Rye resident and president of a local advocacy organization, Staying Put in Rye and Environs (SPRYE). “We fully expected the bus line to be reinstated after the Board of Legislators voted to restore the funding in the budget. With the county’s senior population expecting to increase in numbers in the years ahead, the County Executive should be focusing on public transportation as a way for seniors to get around Westchester.”