MTA Prepares to Slash Services

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A plan to reduce bus and subway service cleared its first hurdle today. The finance committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved wide-ranging service reductions, from the elimination of the W and Z subway lines to canceling more than 20 bus routes. This is part of an effort to close a $400 million budget gap.

Among the more bitterly contested portions of the deficit-reduction plan is a proposal to get rid of discounted MetroCards for students. The MTA says the cuts are needed to close the budget gap. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointee, Jeff Kay, spoke out against this part of the plan. "There's no other school children in the entire state of New York that pay anything to go to and from school," Kay says.

By law, the MTA must balance its budget. The full MTA board votes on the budget Wednesday.