Last month the MTA announced plans to cut service to the handicapped and elderly by $40 million this year, and yesterday officials explained in part how they'll do it. They say they'll reduce eligibility and service for the disabled and the elderly and crack down on those riders who are abusing the system (and not just by getting rides to casinos). For one, the agency wants to enforce regulations for a certain class of handicapped and elderly riders that is supposed to get rides only in extremely cold or hot weather, but under the current system, gets them when it pleases.
The city will also cut costs on those deadly and controversial Access-a-Ride vehicles by giving riders special cards that can be used in any yellow cab, reported the NY Post. The passengers would pay the regular fare—$2.25—and the MTA would pay the rest. In addition to this year's reductions the MTA wants to cut $80 million in 2011 through “improvements in scheduling efficiency, an increase in the use of vouchers and taxis, better coordination of feeder service with accessible fixed route service, improved eligibility screening, and the elimination of the most expensive carriers,” it said in its December budget plan.