By Alysia Santo
A new complaint of age discrimination under the City Human Rights Law was added Thursday to the lawsuit filed against the MTA by Southwest Brooklyn’s State Senator Martin Golden and Councilman Vincent Gentile.
Discussions took place behind closed doors for two hours at a hearing at the Kings County State Supreme Court in Brooklyn under Judge Kenneth Sherman. Councilman Gentile’s office declined to describe the discussions, but said that “negotiations were ongoing.”
A rally took place outside the courthouse in support of the suit. Another rally was held earlier in the week in Bay Ridge at one of the bus stops where the controversial cuts were made.
The lawsuit, filed this summer, alleges that the MTA cuts violated both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Humans Rights Law because of the high percentage of disabled and elderly who call Bay Ridge home. There are no wheelchair accessible subway lines in Bay Ridge, so buses are the only option for many who have trouble with stairs.
The changes were put into place on June 27, resulting in the elimination of uptown service on the X37 and X38, the elimination of the B37, and cuts to weekend bus service on the X27 and X28.
Jean Ryan, one of the plaintiffs named in lawsuit, said that the bus cuts made her feel isolated because now it is so difficult for her to go into Manhattan and see friends. “I’m trying to stay hopeful,” she said.
A statement released by Gentile’s office says, “Over the next couple of weeks, more information will be presented, and we may return to Court in November for a full hearing.”