Lhota not so keen on the ferry fare ideaBy
Yesterday, I wrote about the need to better integrate the East River ferries with the rest of the city’s MTA-run transportation network. Today, MTA head Joe Lhota splashed some cold water on that idea. While speaking at the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference — more on that on Sunday night — Lhota spoke broadly of supporting a MetroCard-based fare payment system with the ferries but stressed that a free transfer isn’t the way to go. “The MTA is in no position to share its revenue with the ferries,” he said.
So let’s amend the idea a bit: Instead of a free transfer, the ferries become another part of the MTA payment network akin to the express buses. These rides cost more than a regular fare, but you can still use a pay-per-ride card on them. Still, though a transfer has to be a part of the equation somehow to make sure riders are being encouraged to use transit without having to pay two fares. Somehow, the revenue and subsidies have to work out so that the MTA isn’t losing money, but riders shouldn’t be either.