BEE-LINE BLUES

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FYI: Officials say it’s either raise fares or cut services if there’s to be a future for the Bee-Line, a bus service that working class women in the Bronx and Mount Vernon depend upon to reach the job-rich Westchester suburbs. The budget Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano signed in late December includes a 15 percent fare hike for the Bronx/Weschester route, from $0.85 to $1.00 per trip, and a 25 percent jump for the basic one-way trip, from $1.40 to $1.75. And that’s just the optimistic outlook, based on a sales tax increase that Albany must approve. If state legislators object, then a “dire scenario” budget awaits, including service cuts and an even greater rate increase for the Bee-Line. Activists have already begun complaining, and the county has scheduled a January 23rd public hearing. Check out the February issue of City Limits magazine for a photo essay featuring the Bee-Line commuters. [1/7/03]