Home MTA Economics Post advocates for higher fare

Post advocates for higher fare

by Benjamin Kabak

As The Times called upon Albany to send more money the MTA’s way to bridge the MTA maintenance budget gap, one of New York’s other papers called upon the riders to foot the bill. In an editorial on Saturday that won’t be too popular with the masses, The Post looked at the issues City Comptroller William Thompson raised last week and decided that the solution was a fare hike.

In their editorial, The Post is dismayed at the problems. They agree, rightly so, with Thompson that it is not acceptable for the city subways to be in a state of disrepair for the next two decades as the comptroller noted last week. But The Post, unlike Thompson and my commenters, refuses to lay blame on the suburban commuter rails that receive more than their fair share of the funds.

Thompson’s report is valuable in identifying these outstanding problems. But his claim that the city is being “shortchanged” is dubious.

For one thing, the subways – along with the LIRR and Metro-North – are part of a unified system. And a majority of commuters – who pay hefty fares to get to the city – ride subways to work once they’re here.

The Post, a conservative-minded paper owned by FoxNews guru Rupert Murdoch, is wont to call for taxpayer money for public services such as the subway. In that, their reasoning behind this so-called “unified system” is a bit flawed. Sure, the MTA oversees MetroNorth, the LIRR and the New York City Subways. But the MTA New York City Transit is a separate entity within the MTA. The distinction may be fine, but it is an important one.

In the end, the Alexander Hamilton-founded paper has this to say:

It’s much easier for the city comptroller to “call” for another $673 million from the state, rather than follow his reasoning to a more logical – yet less popular – conclusion:

If there’s not enough money to keep the system’s infrastructure up to speed, perhaps the fare should go up.

Perhaps the fare should go up but not to cover an operating deficit brought on by an imbalanced allocation of monetary resources within the MTA. The Post just isn’t being more logical here.

(Hat tip to the Wonkster at Gotham Gazette. Tokens from NYCSubway.org)

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wayne's world February 6, 2007 - 5:21 pm

It is in the City and State’s interest to encourage movement around the city by keeping fares as low as possible. People travelling around the city tend to spend money at their destinations. Businesses owned by folks who don’t even ride the trains profit from a city of mobile consumers who can travel to shopping districts and spend money. It is also critical to keep mass transit affordable for environmental reasons. Ultimately, it all comes back to the City and State in other ways if they keep subsidies where they should be.

Victoria February 7, 2007 - 4:15 pm

the fare just went up. $2 is a lot. stop. and yeah it’s definitely a bad idea to raise the fare if it’s going to make people start using less environmentally-friendly means of transportations (i know daddy said that, i’m just agreeing)

Alex April 25, 2007 - 7:43 pm

Thank You


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