Preston Steps Back on Proposed Transit Cuts

By Matt Porter

October 25, 2012 Updated Oct 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Republican Broome County Executive Debbie Preston announced she would reinstate her proposed cuts to BC Transit.

Supporters of public transit and Democratic County Executive Candidate Tarik Abdelazim celebrated the reversal.

"It's a victory for the people," said Abdelazim, "But it makes it clear that over the next four years, there's not a re-election every November. And so I think this administration has really shown they can't be trusted to make the right decisions."

Preston said the decision came after getting multiple calls and visits from residents about the cuts.

"I'm here today to tell you that we've listened and we've found a responsible and equitable way to bring back those passes," said Preston.

Republican county legislators stood behind Preston as she announced the new amendment to the county budget.

The amendment brings back the monthly passes that were cut for the 2013 budget.

It also extends discounts for students and seniors to all day instead of only between off peak hours.

If amended, the passes for seniors and students will cost $44, an $11 increase, and regular passes will cost $70, an increase of $17.50.

Transit advocates said they were okay with a modest fare increase if it meant keeping the passes.

Preston also said she will maintain her zero tax increase pledge by adding automated meters at the Transit Center to pay for the passes.