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)