To the editor,
As a resident and voter of Southern Brooklyn, I have been disenfranchised by gerrymandering for many years. Therefore, I must reply to Henry Finkelstein’s excellent letter (“Cuomo quo,” Sound Off to the Editor, May 22).
Although I live in Brooklyn, my present and past representatives live and have lived on Staten Island and represent Staten Island as well as parts of Brooklyn. My former representative, Michael Grimm, resigned because of corruption and because of this voters in my district were without a representative for several months. A special election was held and we now have another representative from Staten Island. The voters in Staten Island seem to be controlling our congressional district’s politics.
Since I do not now, nor ever have, lived in Staten Island, I don’t think I or my neighbors should be represented by a politician from Staten Island.
I am sure that every voter in Gravesend and Bay Ridge, also represented by the congressman from Staten Island, would like Gov. Cuomo to change the situation. Let’s do something now, governor, before the next congressional election!
To the editor,
The staff at PS 90 must be singing “Happy Days Are Here Again!” when the news was announced that their controversial principal was finally removed. The question will always remain: Why did it take so long? She may no longer be bothering staff, but I hope she isn’t rewarded with a cushy job at the district office pushing papers around while collecting that hefty principal’s salary.
I’d like to see Mayor DeBlasio, the head of the school system, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina explain to the public why this person wasn’t removed before. After all, she was only charged with making anti-Semitic remarks, harassing teachers, refusing to allow children to sing patriotic songs and offering incentives for children not to use the bathroom. How on earth didn’t parents complain about this? It just shows you how inattentive many parents are to the educational needs of their children. Frankly, many couldn’t care less, as they see the school system as nothing more than a babysitting service for their children. Can you imagine endorsing poor hygiene practices among children?
I taught in a school for 19 years and faced similar circumstances with the arrival of the new principal in 1984. As a result, there was a widespread exodus of staff, and I joined it to complete the remaining 13 years of my career in another school. The problem was that the school I left never came back due to the damage that was done. I fear the same fate for PS 90.
I hope the media will watch what ultimately occurs in this situation. Let us hope that come September this principal is not put in another school to carry on again. We, as taxpayers, deserve better than this.
Let us also investigate how such a person obtained her position to begin with. Stop pushing people into positions of authority due to political considerations. Let’s return to the merit system of promoting deserving people involved in education into such positions.
Given what the New York City school system has become, don’t be surprised to see this person honored in time to come at a country club as an outstanding school leader. Disgusting.Ed Greenspan
To the editor,
A short while ago a friend sent me an email that included the following Susan B. Anthony quote: “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” and out from my fingers came this:
At the behest of a friend I watched the short speech Ted Cruz gave the other day in announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential election. Ugh, it was not easy to make it through.
Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment candidate, is extremely biased in his views and hopes for the country; what he expressed is not inclusive of the many. The mere fact that he chose to announce at a strictly Christian university speaks to his affirmed bias that negates the inclusion of far too many citizens.
Constitutionalists like Ted Cruz are extremely focused on the issue of “freedom.” They feel that government and freedom are not great bedfellows and that many governmental decisions impinge upon freedoms. The other side of the coin is that there are many who believe that without governmental oversight, absolute freedom allows those in positions of power to retard access and progress of those who are less “wealthy” or to harm the environment without care, or responsibility should harm be done. Often time they feel that those who are strict constitutionalists interpret aspects of it to their own beliefs which negates those of others. They use the correct wording that “every child, every citizen,” but their conservative backgrounds and leanings negate the needs and beliefs of far too many citizens. The whole concept and usage of the “G” word in itself offends many citizens.
Their concept of “liberty” and “freedom” is limited, and far from inclusive of everyone. They use their fundamental religious and constitutional rhetoric to disguise their disdain for the poor and needy, for people who are not like them.
I was just informed that after bashing the Affordable Care Act relentlessly, that he was “forced” to see medical insurance via Imagine this bigoted nincompoop is not re-elected in Texas? Can hardly imagine that after seeing the reception and responses Cruz got from the born again audience at Liberty University. The cheering they offered up each time Cruz mentioned things like lessening accessing to food stamps or health care for the poor, or putting up electrified fences around the country’s borders, or mentions the guns issues around the Second Amendment. Imagine how aghast I was at this creep using the “imagine” image of John Lennon as the theme for his announcement.
What I can imagine is this jerk disappearing into the vile woodwork of his inner demons, getting himself and his minions to secede from the republic to turn back their clocks to any century they want, leaving me and my ilk far, far away and free from their hell. I’m quite sure that other can easily continue this “rant” by pointing out many examples of the great hypocrisy that exists between the rhetoric they spew and the decisions they try to enact on behalf of the citizens they represent while in Washington, D.C. Come all future elections, city, state and federal, if the preponderance of voters choose to stay home again, instead of voting with a clear and thoughtful mind and heart, they’ll get exactly what they deserve, and I’ll have to move somewhere, far away.Barry Brothers
To the editor,
The findings contained in State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s audit of the New York State Economic Development Corporation $211 million dollar Start Up N.Y. program should be no surprise to the enlightened.
I have previously written about this waste, fraud and abuse of our tax dollars over the past two years. Nice to see that Comptroller DiNapoli agrees with me. With the permission and direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Economic Development Corporation has spent $211 million — and growing — in your money for a series of feel-good ads. The commercials ran in heavy rotation several times per hour on television stations. They have a catchy beat reminiscent of Bobby McFarins “Don’t worry, Be Happy.” The costs far exceeded any rival major media buys from candidates running for public office. These frequent television ads promoted “I Love New York,” The New New York” and “Start-Up New York.”
Worse was the use of $41 million in federal Sandy relief to finance this media blitz. These funds were intended to directly assist Hurricane Sandy relief victims. I doubt that this what Sen. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand had in mind when lobbying Washington, D.C., for disaster relief funds. Even as you read this letter, the state continues to waste millions more of your hard-earned tax dollars running these advertisements.
DiNapoli points out in his audit that the expenditure of $211 million resulted in only 41 companies creating 1,750 jobs. That comes to $25,000 for each new job! DiNapoli forgot to credit the media firm hired to produce and place these advertisements, and which made out like a bandit. Will fellow Democrat State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigate these series of scandals? Don’t hold your breath, as Schneiderman is politically attached to the hip of Cuomo.
Diogenes is still searching for a brave member of the State Legislature to stand up and end this financial boondoggle once and for all. Who will be our profile in courage?
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
Robert Lobenstern, in response to your comments, “What about white on white crime; mass murderers, serial killers, Sandy Hook, theater murder, school massacres etc.” (“Hate spewers,” Sound Off to the Editor, May 22), should I say more? Your statement was racist to say the least. V. Thurston
Food for thought
To the editor,
Congress could not nominate a ham sandwich, but the Catholic country of Ireland, which has been around for hundreds of years, voted for gay rights. In many ways we are still in the dark ages. In technology we’ve made tremendous advances, as in science.
There are state legislators who think they know about a women’s body and how their policies are attempting to have control over each and every women. This I find offensive and out of touch with reality. Who appointed these men to know what’s right for women?
To the editor,
Looks as though the veterans’ affairs chief was caught with his foot in his mouth, lying about his military service, and on camera too! It is a sad state of affairs as one by one, our leaders, our so-called impartial newsmen and the people that seek the trust of the populace are exposed. Especially when they boast of experiences they never had or college degrees they never earned, though, most have an excellent B.S. in bull!
My generation was taught not to trust anyone over 30 (I’m 63 now), and my father had a saying that pretty much covered his opinion of politicians and glad handlers: “They all lie — like a rug!” As each politician is disgraced or carted away in handcuffs, it only reinforces my opinion of these leaders. Dad was only too right.
Robert W. Lobenstein
To the editor,
Apparently, the Republican Party shares the late Charles Bronson’s idea of a death wish. They have at their disposal to run on a platform of an abysmal foreign policy record of the incumbent president, and an apparent fiasco at Benghazi regarding Hillary Clinton. Instead of starting to concentrate on this, candidates Marco Rubio and Chris Christie begin to attack Medicare and Social Security, respectively.
In 1964 candidate Barry Goldwater told a group of senior citizens in July of 1964 that he wished to make Social Security a voluntary system. What boss in his or her right mind would contribute to the system if it were voluntary? Social Security would go bankrupt in no time. It was said that Goldwater lost the election on that night. Ronald Reagan knew that Social Security and Medicare are never winning issues and therefore kept quiet about them during his 1980 and 1984 campaigns.
The Republican Party shall continue to lose presidential elections until they realize that Social security and Medicare aren’t punching bag issues. May I remind the GOP that senior citizens vote in elections and you are only turning them off with your diatribe against systems that so many Americans depend upon.
To the editor,
I was about to come up for tenure when Hugh Carey defeated Malcolm Wilson to become governor of New York in 1974. The United Federation of Teachers wholeheartedly supported Carey. No sooner was he governor than tenure was changed to five years, and therefore myself and others had to wait two additional years to achieve this job protection.
At the time the union urged membership to donate to vote for the Committee on Public Education to get the tenure back to three years.
Gov. Cuomo is falling into the same trap as Gov. Carey did. It doesn’t matter how many years of teaching is required as long as the system allows us to work under the same abysmal conditions. City classrooms have the largest classroom registers and consequently disruptive children in them. No matter what is tried nothing will work until we attempt to resolve the problems of class size and children who refuse to behave themselves in school. It is ridiculous that people who never spent one day in the classroom as a teacher attempt to make rules that classroom teachers have to work under.
When it comes to class sizes, the union pointed out years ago that it had established an expedited grievance procedure in dealing with large classrooms. What expedited procedure? I’ve been retired now for nearly 14 years and the problem persists. Similarly the problem of disruptive children is ignored because no one wants to touch the issue. It is much easier to blame the teacher for the behavior of children who either will not or are unable to control themselves in classrooms. The 600-schools for problem children were done away with years ago, and now the mayor and chancellor are talking about eliminating suspensions for the unruly. The mayor and other critics of teachers desperately need to get back into a classroom and see what goes on during the course of a day.
Stop with the liberal nonsense of total child, alternate assessments, and other jokes, and institute military discipline in those schools requiring it. Any teacher cannot teach without discipline — Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina knows that.Ed Greenspan
To the editor,
National Pot Day on April 20 made sense. Consumption of marijuana for both medical and recreational use is part of mainstream America, transcending generations. Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval.
Consumers have voted with their dollars, making marijuana consumption a multibillion-dollar enterprise today. Legalize it and add a sales tax. Revenues will more than cover the costs of any abuse. Our tax dollars will be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those who consume or distribute marijuana. Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins than individuals who get high in the privacy of their own home. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.
At 18, you are old enough to vote, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military and die for your country — but not consume marijuana. This makes no sense. What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their own home or private social club isn’t the concern of government. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace. Let us hope that we have finally learned from the obvious failures of Prohibition. It is time to permit consenting adults to access any so-called illegal products or substances without fear from government harassment.
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
Is there real reason to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the New York City Economic Development Corporation? New York City prospered and successfully grew prior to creation of this group and it’s predecessor, the N.Y.C. Public Development Corporation which was created in 1966. In 1991 the N.Y.C. Public Development Corporation (P.D.C.) was merged with the N.Y.C. Financial Services Corporation (F.S.C.) to form the N.Y.C. Economic Development Corporation. In many instances projects supported by these government corporations have been heavily subsidized by taxpayers, commonly known as corporate welfare. Between direct government funding, low-interest and below-market-rate loans, and long-term tax exemptions, the bill to taxpayers in the end is greater than the so-called public benefits.
There is also a relationship between pay-for-play campaign contributions from developers to elected officials looking for favorable legislation, private-property condemnation under eminent domain, building permits, public infrastructure improvements, along with direct and hidden subsidies. In some cases city and state development corporations actually compete against each other attempting to outbid each other in offering potential investors the best deal. This translates to the highest subsidies at taxpayers’ expense.
Don’t forget the conflict of interest for senior staff from municipal regulatory and permitting agencies. Too many leave in the twilight of any mayoral administration to become employees or consultants to the same developers they previously oversaw.
Take Seth Pinsky, former executive director of the N.Y.C.E.D.C. who went on to become executive vice president of the RXR Realty. Some developers try to purchase the support of local community groups by making so-called voluntary donations. They also make promises for capital improvements, which after the major project is completed don’t always appear. Other commitments for creation of permanent new jobs and tax revenues frequently do not meet expectations. If these projects are worthwhile, why can’t major developers use their own funds or obtain loans from banks, like medium and small businesses?
Real business people who believe in capitalism build their companies on their own. How sad that some don’t want to do it the old fashioned way by sweat and hard work. They are looking for shortcuts in the form of huge subsidies at taxpayers expense and favors from elected officials.Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
Your story “Tunnel Aversion” (March 26) concerning the proposed Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel which might connect New Jersey to Brooklyn and Queens is under consideration again. In theory, it might move thousands of trucks on a daily basis off the roads and on to railroad tracks for significant portions of the journey between New Jersey and Long Island. It reminds me of the long-forgotten proposed tunnel between 69th Street in Bay Ridge and St. George on Staten Island. The concept was to extend subway service from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Ground was broken with entrances at both ends in the 1920s, but the project quickly ran out of money and was abandoned to history. When living on Shore Road in Bay Ridge, friends and I would look to no avail in attempting to find the abandoned site filled in decades earlier. Flash forward almost 90 years later and we have the proposed “Cross Harbor” rail freight tunnel project.
Construction of any new freight, public transportation tunnel or bridge project can take years if not decades by the time all feasibility studies, environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements, construction, budgeting, identifying, and securing funding is completed. This is before the project reaches beneficial use. Construction for the 2nd Avenue subway began in the 1960s. Bond money intended for this project in the 1950s was spent elsewhere. The latest completion date for the first segment of three stations between 63rd and 96th streets on the upper east side of Manhattan is 2016 at a cost of $4.5 billion. Construction for the original tunnel to support bringing the Long Island Rail Road from Queens into Grand Central Station began in the 1960s. The latest completion date is now 2023 with a cost of $10 billion. No one can identify the source for the estimated $16 billion to build a new tunnel for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak known as the “Gateway project” to gain additional access to Penn Station from New Jersey. Ditto for paying back the $3 billion federal loan which covered a majority of the estimated $4 billion for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in Westchester. Any guess who will find $5 to $10 billion or more needed for construction of a new Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel? This may be just another in the continuing series of feasibility studies sponsored by various governmental agencies and public officials over decades. They generate some money for consultants, along with free publicity, for elected officials who promise a bright future, but all to often move on to another public office before delivering. You are frequently left holding an empty bag with unfilled promises. At the end of the day just like the long abandoned Brooklyn to Staten Island subway project, don’t count on seeing any shovel in the ground before the end of this decade. Don’t count on completion of any Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel in our lifetime.
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
Did you know that the first game to be played at the Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field was an inter-league exhibition game against the New York Yankees on April 5, 1913? Ebbets Field officially opened on April 9, 1913 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The original Brooklyn Dodgers name was derived from residents who would dodge trolley cars when crossing streets for decades, until their own decline and final death in the 1950’s. If it had not been for mega builder Robert Moses, along with both the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers leaving the Big Apple in 1957 for California, there may have been no Barclays Center or Brooklyn Nets.
The golden era of baseball in the city took place in the 1950s with a three-way rivalry between the American League New York Yankees, and the National League New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. All three teams claimed to have the best center fielder in baseball. On street corners all over town, citizens would argue whether the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle, Giants’ Willie Mays or Dodgers’ Duke Snider was champ.
Ordinary Brooklyn natives could ride the bus, trolley or subway to Ebbets Field to see their beloved Dodgers. Working and middle class men and woman of all ages, classes and races co-mingled in the stands. Everyone could afford a bleacher, general admission, reserve or box seat. Hot dogs, beer, other refreshments and souvenirs were reasonably priced.
Team owners would raise or reduce a players salary based on their performance the past season. Salaries were so low, that virtually all Dodger players worked at another job off season. Most Dodger players were actually neighbors who lived and worked in various communities in the County of Kings.
Residents of the era sat outside on the neighborhood stoop, shopped at the local butcher, baker, fruit, and vegetable stand. Television was a relatively new technology and the local movie theater was still king for entertainment. Brooklyn still had its very own daily newspaper — the Brooklyn Eagle — which ended publication some time in the mid-1950s.
During the 1950s, Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley tried to find various locations for construction of a new baseball stadium which he pledged to finance using his own monies. With limited seating capacity at Ebbets Field, he needed a new modern stadium to remain financially viable. City master mega-builder Robert Moses refused to allow him access to the current-day Barclays Center build on Atlantic Yards. This location was easily accessible to thousands of baseball fans from all around the Big Apple via numerous subway lines and Long Island Rail Road.
Thousands of fans who moved to other neighborhoods in eastern Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk County would have had direct access via the LIRR. Imagine how different Brooklyn would have been if elected officials had stood up to Robert Moses and allowed construction of a new Dodgers stadium in downtown Brooklyn. Without the departure of both the Brooklyn Dodgers (becoming the Los Angeles Dodgers) and New York Giants (San Francisco Giants), there may have been no national league expansion in 1962. There would have been no Colt 45s (original name of the Houston Astros), our beloved New York Mets, or the Barclays Center hosting the Brooklyn Nets basketball team.
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
In reality, it doesn’t matter how long tenure is. Even tenured teachers can be fired. Principals just don’t want to go through the paper work in the process. If a principal doesn’t like you, you will be assigned the most difficult classes and therefore with unsatisfactory results and the lack of discipline in these classes, you shall be terminated.
When Spiro Agnew resigned from the vice presidency in Oct. 1973, Nixon tapped New York’s Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to be vice president. Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson became governor and ran against Hugh Carey in the 1974 election. Carey won and thanked the teacher’s union for its support by going along with the legislature and increasing teacher tenure to five years. I vividly remember this because myself and others had to wait an additional two years to be tenured.
While this was occurring, Unity Caucus, which has run the union for more than 50 years, strongly recommended that we give money to the Committee on Political Education in order to get the tenure reduced to three years again. Had we stayed with Gov. Wilson, we wouldn’t have encountered this mess. Increasing tenure will only cause novice teachers to leave in droves.
No one wants to admit that unruly pupils are the causes of the ills of the public school system. You could make 10 years a requirement for tenure and you shall encounter the same problems. Start allowing discipline back in the schools and you would see those teachers being rated ineffective improve rapidly.Ed Greenspan
To the editor,
City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s report that New Yorkers spend more time traveling to work than those who commute in other cities told us nothing new. This has been previously documented in numerous other taxpayer-funded studies and newspaper articles. Older generations moved to two fare zones in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island in search of more affordable housing, safer neighborhoods, better air quality and better schools. They knew full well that they would be living in a two-fare (bus to subway) zone with longer commutes to and from work. Newer generations looking for the same quality of life moved to the suburbs. They had to deal with driving to a commuter railroad station, riding the railroad and transferring to the subway before arriving at work. More recent generations moved beyond the old inner suburbs to newer outer suburbs with even longer commutes.
The real questions Srtinger failed to look at is who is providing the appropriate level of funding to improve everyone’s commute and how those dollars are being spent.
For decades under numerous previous Metropolitan Transportation Authority five-year capital plans, both the city and state collectively cut billions of their own respective, financial contributions. They repeatedly had the agency refinance or borrow funds to acquire scarce capital funding formerly made up by hard cash from both City Hall and Albany. This has resulted in long term agency debt, doubling from $15 billion to more than $32 billion. More money has to be spent on debt service payments. This has resulted in billions of fewer dollars available for both operating and capital improvements for safety, state of good repair, and system expansion capital projects and programs. While Washington has consistently provided billions, it is both City Hall and Albany that have retreated from properly financing the capital program since the 1980s. How much money did Stringer bring to the city as a member of the State Assembly and Manhattan borough president? How much money has Stringer asked Mayor Bill DeBlasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the City Council to provide in the municipal budget? Talk is cheap, but actions speak louder.
Stringer and other career politicians continue to miss how both the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority manage their respective capital and operating assistance programs. Both the city and the agency combined have an active portfolio in billions of ongoing capital projects and programs. This includes almost two billion dollars of yearly assistance from Washington. These dollars are supplemented by billions more from various discretionary federal funding sources, including post 9-11 aid, American Recovery Reinvestment Act, and Hurricane Sandy funding.
Stringer’s staff time would have been better spent auditing both the city and the agency, along with their respective sub recipients and operating agencies, to see how prudent they have been in managing all those billions of dollars from Uncle Sam and Albany.
Stringer could give up both his fee parking space at City Hall and his special police parking permit. He can use his transit check to purchase MetroCards. Why not ask his wife to do the same? This will afford Stringer the opportunity to join several million constituents who use public transportation on a daily basis and also contribute to a cleaner environment.Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.
To the editor,
Pee on the southern Brooklyn Democrats for being so stupid as to endorse the underground Republican spoiler for the Republican Party, James Inne, masking as a progressive candidate for Green Party U.S., not to be confused with the real Green Party, which would never run a candidate to take away votes needed to defeat a Republican candidate, something Green party US has no problem with.
Indeed when Al Gore ran against George Bush, Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, got tons of money from the Bush people. Is anyone still too stupid to understand why this was done?
This is what Martin Kilian, a forming member of the German Green Party in 1979 had to say about this so-called Green Party when it ran Nadar for president during the Gore-Bush election: “The position of the American Greens is highly questionable and outright immature if you ask me,” he said during an interview for conss
It is high time progressives and Democrats see this so called Green Party for what it really is there for: to help Republicans by taking away votes from Democrats.
I challenge anyone to come up with a more intelligent answer that is not full of it from Green Party U.S.
To the editor,
Elderly people’s reflexes and vision are not as sharp as younger people’s, and a fair solution to protect society as a whole would be for state legislature to enact laws that drivers of any age to retain their licenses should be given a neurological examination every two years to determine whether mental impairment has developed.
It is now known that President Woodrow Wilson had a stroke that left him blind in his left eye at 42 years old, when he was a professor of political science and government. This was not revealed for more than 70 years after his death. I understand too that Albert Einstein never drove a car.
My late father’s first home attendant told me that in Trinidad when people turn 60 they are required to surrender their drivers licenses. I do not think America has to be that arbitrary, but it would be beneficial for society as a well as individuals to be required to have a neurological examination every two years to see if any development might occur.
To the editor,
Practically every Thursday evening at the end of the month I go to a Barnes and Noble open-mike poetry event at the Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street location in the northwestern part of Brooklyn.
I take an F train to and from my location from Brighton Beach taking the Q train to Stillwell Avenue and transferring to an F train getting off at the Seventh Avenue station.
On my return trip, however, I try to take an F train back to Stillwell Avenue, but I sometimes have a considerable wait, and to save time take a G train with its final stop at Church Avenue and then wait for an F line going back home to Stillwell Avenue, and again take a Q to Brighton Beach.
If the G train can’t go directly to Coney Island, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a direct route from either Coney Island to Rockaway station in Queens or have a super express where the first stop would be either Canal Street or Grand Street?
This might be beneficial for commuters when tracks need to be repaired as an alternative to bus service.