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Restore MTA Bus Stops Near Trump Tower Immediately, Councilman Demands

By Noah Hurowitz | January 18, 2017 4:43pm
 Bus service has been disrupted along Fifth Avenue since election day.
Bus service has been disrupted along Fifth Avenue since election day.
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DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz

MIDTOWN — The MTA should restore service to bus stops near Trump Tower — or explain what they'll do to make it up to riders — a local politician is demanding.

In a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Secret Service, Councilman Dan Garodnick called on officials to restore service to two bus stops on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street and Fifth Avenue between 55th and 56th streets.

The M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 and the M57 and M31 bus stops have been disrupted steadily since Election Day as part of the costly joint operation by the NYPD and the Secret Service to secure Trump Tower, which the President-elect has used as his headquarters in the run-up to his inauguration.

"We’d like them to restore the bus stops, unless they can articulate a clear security rationale,” Garodnick told DNAinfo New York. “If it is necessary for those bus stops to continue to be out of service, we want to understand what accommodations they could make so people can deal with this challenge.”

With riders forced to head several blocks away to catch a bus — the nearest downtown stop is at 52nd while the nearest crosstown stop is an avenue block away at West 57th Street and Sixth Avenue — Garodnick said he worries for his constituents who already have a tough time getting around.

“If you’re a senior citizen or a person with limited mobility and your destination is one of those stops, this is obviously a real challenge for those people,” he said.

“We’ve been hearing from senior citizens who rely on this bus service who are frustrated that they can’t get close to where they need to be.”

In his letter, dated Tuesday, Garodnick asked the MTA and the Secret Service to clarify exactly why those stops have been taken out of commission, to replace them with nearby stops, and to put in place a protocol for notifying the community about any changes in bus stop location.

The letter is the latest skirmish in the battle over Trump’s effect on Midtown, which is costing the NYPD half a million dollars a day and which has been the focus of a City Council hearing and extensive agitating from Garodnick, who has positioned himself as a major critic of Trump’s decision to make his pre-inauguration home base in Midtown.

Representatives of the MTA and the Secret Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.