As one of the worst weeks in New York City transportation history draws to a close, let’s look at the impact the fare hike and service cuts will have on the city’s economy. Charles Komanoff analyzed just that issue for Streetsblog this week.

He writes:

I estimate that the fare hikes and service cuts which begin June 1 will:

  • Add an average of 6 percent more waiting and travel time to bus and subway commutes; which will…
  • cause 40,000 more autos to pile into the Manhattan Central Business District each day; which will…
  • slow traffic by an average of 5 percent in the CBD and 1-2 percent across the City; costing…
  • drivers, truckers and bus riders $600 million in lost time annually within the CBD, and probably $1.5 billion or more citywide.

The one-two punch of higher fares and less frequent service can be expected to shrink subway use by around 8 percent and bus ridership by 6 percent. This is a calamity not only to our city’s vitality but for the MTA as well, since it cuts deeply into the very revenue these measures were supposed to generate. Indeed, the BTA model projects that the real gain in farebox revenues won’t even reach $500 million — well under half of the projected $1.2 billion deficit.

The key criteria by which New York City transportation policies are judged are driver expenses, rider expenses, driver travel times and rider travel times. The MTA and the legislature have managed to worsen three out of four — and, for good measure, have aggravated others, such as traffic pollution and mayhem. A stopped clock could hardly have done worse.

I wonder if the politicians feel that keeping the East River bridges free will be worth that cost.

On another level, I disagree with the rest of Komanoff’s post. He calls the Ravitch Plan “a stop-gap solution” “rife with inequalities” and explains how Manhattanites would have benefited from clearer streets, New Jersey residents wouldn’t pay any tolls and the payroll tax shouldn’t impact Duchess County as much as it does New York.

I disagree with the former, have no problem with the second issue simply because New Jersey residents pay a lot to get into the city and the money goes to the Port Authority and don’t believe exurban Duchess County should be reward. Maybe instituting a payroll tax that lines up with the percentage of people served by the MTA per county would be more equitable, but in the end, the Ravitch Plan was far better than any other realistic scenario on the table.

Now on to the service changes….

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, downtown 1 trains skip 96th Street due to station rehabilitation at 96th Street.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, 2 trains run in two sections (due to a track chip-out at President Street):

  • Between 241st Street and Crown Heights-Utica Avenue and
  • Between Franklin Avenue and Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue

Customers must transfer to the shuttle train at Franklin Avenue for stations along Nostrand Avenue to Flatbush Avenue. Note: In the early morning hours between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m., trains run every 30 minutes between Franklin and Flatbush Avenues.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, uptown 2 and 3 trains run local from 72nd to 96th Streets due to station rehabilitation at 96th Street. Note: Overnight, uptown 3 trains run local from 42nd to 96th Streets.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, downtown 2 and 3 trains skip 96th Street and run local from 86th Street to Chambers Street due to station rehabilitation at 96th Street. Note: Overnight, downtown 3 trains run local from 96th to 42nd Streets.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Brooklyn-bound 2, 3 and 4 trains run express from Atlantic Avenue to Crown Heights-Utica Avenue due to a track chip-out at President Street. A shuttle train will operate between Franklin Avenue and Brooklyn College-Flatbush Avenue.

From 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, March 28, from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday, March 29 and from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Brooklyn-bound 4 trains run local from Grand Central-42nd Street to Brooklyn Bridge due to rail installation.

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, free shuttle buses replace 5 trains between Dyre Avenue and East 180th Street due to structural and steel track work.

From 4 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, Manhattan-bound 6 trains run express from Pelham Bay Park to Parkchester due to track panel installation from Castle Hill Avenue to Parkchester.

From 4 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, the last stop for some Bronx-bound 6 trains is 3rd Avenue-138th Street due to track panel installation from Castle Hill Avenue to Parkchester.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Bronx-bound 6 trains run express from 3rd Avenue to Hunts Point Avenue due to platform edge rehabilitation at the Cypress Avenue, East 143rd Street, East 149th Street and Longwood Avenue stations.

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, free shuttle buses replace A trains between Jay Street-Borough Hall and Utica Avenue due to the Jay Street rehabilitation project.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, there is no C train service. A trains run local between 168th Street and Euclid Avenue with free shuttle buses replacing A trains between Jay Street-Borough Hall and Utica Avenue due to the Jay Street station rehabilitation project.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Manhattan-bound D trains skip 174th-175th, 170th, 167th, 161st, and 155th Streets due to signal work south of Tremont Avenue.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Bronx-bound D trains run local from 59th Street to 145th Street due to the Jay Street rehabilitation project.

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, free shuttle buses replace D trains between 205th Street and Bedford Park Blvd. due to track chip-out north of Bedford Park Blvd.

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Manhattan-bound E and F trains run local from Forest Hills-71st Avenue to Roosevelt Avenue due to a track chip-out north of Grand Avenue.

From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, Jamaica-bound EF trains run local from Roosevelt Avenue to Forest Hills -71st Avenue due to a track chip-out north of Grand Avenue.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, downtown F trains skip 23rd and 14th Streets due to conduit and cable work south of 34th Street.

From 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30 (until further notice), there are no G trains between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Court Square. Customers should take the E or R instead.

From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., Saturday, March 28, J trains run in two sections (due to track cleaning):

  • Between Jamaica Center and Essex Street and
  • Between Essex and Chambers Streets

From 4 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, there are no N trains between Queensboro Plaza and Lexington Avenue-59th Street due to switch renewal at Queensboro Plaza. Customers may take the 7 instead.

From 5 a.m. to midnight Saturday, March 28 and from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, there are no N trains between Lexington Avenue-59th Street and Times Square-42nd Street due to switch renewal at Queensboro Plaza. Customers may take the 456Q or R instead.

From 4 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, N trains skip Prince, 8th, 23rd, and 28th Streets in both directions due to switch renewal at Queensboro Plaza. Customers may take the Q instead.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29, N trains are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge between DeKalb Avenue and Canal Street in both directions due to switch renewal at Queensboro Plaza. Customers should take the Q instead.

From 4 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 29, Q trains run local on the R line between 57th Street-7th Avenue and DeKalb Avenue in both directions due to switch renewal at Queensboro Plaza.

From 12:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 30, R trains are extended to the 179th Street F station due to a track chip-out north of Grand Avenue.

Categories : Service Advisories
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Every now and then, The Post’s’ in-your-face style of tabloid reporting comes up with a gem of a piece. This one — in which Brendan Scott and Tom Namako confronted the six anti-MTA State Senators over their lack of subway support — is just such a piece.

As Streetsblog noted earlier, four of the six senators who do not support the Ravitch Plan claimed to use the subway. One — Hiram Monserrate — couldn’t be reached for comment due to his legal troubles. The other? Well, take it away, Ruben Diaz, Sr.:

And one of the lawmakers who came up empty-handed, Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx), exploded when asked if he ever rides the transit system.

“Don’t ask me if I ride or don’t ride. It doesn’t mean anything,” said Diaz. “Who rides the subway doesn’t matter. You don’t listen to me. It doesn’t matter who rides the subway. I don’t care who rides the train or who doesn’t ride the train.

“Listen to what I’m saying,” he said on a continuing tirade. “English, English, English. I don’t care who rides the train who rides the train or not. Whoever rides the train or whenever they ride the train, I’m offering the best plan.”

That plan, one that he said would hit straphangers with only “a 4 percent” fare increase, was slammed by Gov. Paterson, the MTA and transit advocates as having bad math. It would actually carry a 17 percent fare increase, they said.

“I’m here representing a community,” Diaz said. “For the community I represent, I’m offering four things: No layoffs, no tolls, no cut of services, and a 4 percent increase of fare.”

Diaz’s response is typical. He can’t handle getting challenged on an obvious issue and just starts blubbering away about nothing related to the problem at hand. His constituents should be up in arms over this.

But while Diaz’s reaction makes for good headlines and pull quotes, Ruth Hassell-Thompson comes across even worse. “I blocked the plan because we have to be sure that what we’re paying for is what we’re really getting,” she said. “If the service isn’t improving, why the hell am I giving them more money?”

Why the hell are you giving them more money, Ruth? So the MTA can stay afloat. So the MTA can continue to provide the same level of service it currently provides. So the MTA doesn’t have to raise fares, cut service and fire employees to balance its books.

This reaction simply angers me. It’s stunningly out of touch with reality and represents a complete abrogation of Hassell-Thompson’s duty as an elected representative of New York City. If politicians can’t understand this — or, in the case of Hassell-Thompson, refuse to acknowledge the situation on the ground — there is no hope for the city.

Categories : Doomsday Budget
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  • MTA workers fear for their jobs · While transit advocates have focused on the fare hike aspect of the MTA’s Doomsday budget, employee cuts are another major part of the authority’s cost-savings efforts. According to MTA documents, around 1100 workers will find themselves out of their jobs. The cuts will hit station agents and bus drivers the hardest, and those with less than two years of service time are going to be the first to go.

    Both The Daily News and NY1 reported on aspects of this plan today, and while I don’t like it from a personal security point of view, MTA workers are known to, well, sleep on the job and otherwise not fulfill their duties. These cuts may just make the MTA workforce more efficient and responsible. · (8)

Following a week of bad news for the MTA, the agency’s financial future grew a little dimmer yesterday as Moody’s, the bond-rating agency, warned of an impending rating downgrade. If Moody’s enacts this downgrade, the MTA would be slammed with higher interest rates and would find it harder to borrow money or issue new bonds.

The Times’ William Neuman had more:

The warning applied to about $12 billion in what are known as Transportation Revenue bonds. The bonds are backed by the fares paid by bus, subway and commuter rail riders, as well as other sources, including taxes on real estate transactions, which have declined with the worsening economy.

The report cited the authority’s deepening financial crisis and the failure of the State Legislature to enact a rescue plan backed by Gov. David A. Paterson. In response to the lack of action in Albany, and to help close a $1.2 billion deficit, the authority’s board voted on Wednesday to move ahead with a steep increase in fares and tolls and deep cuts to service.

“In the absence of a long-term funding solution from the State Legislature,” the report said, further fare increases and service cuts were probable. Even so, the report said, the authority faces growing budget deficits in coming years. It warned that “stopgap measures will not stabilize the long-term fiscal health of the M.T.A.”

As a result, the report said, the authority’s financial projections “may not support” the current rating for its fare-backed bonds.

As Neuman notes, Moody’s warning is a direct result of Albany inaction, and MTA officials were quick to point out the relation. “It is making the very direct connection between the failure of Albany to act and the financial viability of the MTA,” CFO Gary Dellaverson said.

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the point remains: Albany is not taking this MTA crisis seriously. Considering the very public and active statements of the MTA leaders, I’m not inclined to blame them for Albany inaction. Maybe it’s a nature of a legislative body with upstate representation attempting to legislate for New York. Maybe it’s a problem of out-of-touch politicians who don’t know their constituent needs. Maybe New York state really should split into two, as five State Senators recently suggested.

Whatever the cause, whatever the solution, as Albany delays, the MTA’s financial picture looks worse every day.

Categories : MTA Economics
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Thirty days hath Albany

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While New York sits in fear of fare hikes to come, straphangers can spy a slight glimmer of hope at the end of the fare hike tunnel. The MTA isn’t planning on preparing to implement the 23 percent fare hike and the massive service cuts approved this week until May. That still gives Albany until the end of April to act.

“We really have the month of April before people get impacted,” MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot Sander said this week. “You could reverse some of these actions in May, but they will already start taking place in terms of hitting our customers.”

As the MTA gears up for the latest fare hike, Pete Donohue explained how Albany action could stave off the hikes before the end of April:

The higher subway and bus fares take effect May 31. Commuter train fare increases take effect on June 1 – but June passes go on sale in May. Most service cuts would be phased in between June and December.

With each passing day it becomes more expensive and difficult to halt or scale back the service cuts and hikes, officials said. Subway and bus fares aren’t changed with the simple push of a button, officials said.

New fare tables have to be compiled and then downloaded to every turnstile, token-booth computer, MetroCard vending machine and bus fare box in the bus and subway system, NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said. Staffers must go to thousands of individual pieces of equipment and verify data in advance of the May 31 fare-hike date, officials said.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign echoed Donohue’s report. “There are many paths elected officials can take, but only two possible futures,” Steven Higashide wrote. “In one, state elected officials get behind a comprehensive, long-term plan that addresses the MTA’s operating and capital budgets and allows for continued investment in the region’s transportation network. In the other, they pass a half-solution or do nothing at all, and the system steadily deteriorates.”

Hopefully, Albany will pick the former. But as time ticks on and nothing emerges from the State Senate, I grow less optimistic by the day.

Categories : Doomsday Budget
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While the ink has hardly dried on the MTA Board’s imprimatur to the fare hikes and service cuts, transit advocates are gearing up for another round of hikes. Unfortunately for transit-dependent New Yorkers, the MTA may now be on an annual hike plan to cover its ever-growing debt payments, and the next fare hike may come along as early as 2010.

Streetsblog had word of a statement from Gene Russianoff on the potential frequency of future hikes:

Without new financial help from Albany soon, the MTA says its current bad finances may mean another fare hike in 2010.

That would make it three years in a row for fare increases — March 2008, June 2009 and early 2010 — the worst record in the MTA’s 40-plus year history.

It demonstrates a trend of shifting the costs of operating transit from some beneficiaries of the subways and buses — such as motorists and businesses — onto riders. For example, the riders’ share of operating costs for the subways will go from 69% to an astonishing 84%, according to the MTA, if the just-approved fare increases are implemented.

Under the plan proposed by former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch, no new fare hike would occur before 2011.

Of course, all of this — absent general inflation-based fare hikes — could be avoided if Albany were to act. In one swoop, the State Senate could avoid extreme fare hikes and service cuts this year and any fare hike next year.

Maybe though instead of waiting for Malcolm Smith to get his ducks in a row, Sheldon Silver should, as the Post suggested today, pass a one-house bailout. Assembly action would force the State Senate’s hand. It could also create more of a press and voter uproar over Senate inaction.

Anyway, transit’s future in New York City is bleak. The MTA needs a few billion for its operating budget and has a $30 billion five-year capital plan in its pocket too. At a time when the economy needs transit, when the environment needs transit, when the city needs transit, we’re sitting here talking about the potential for a third fare hike in three years rather than true progressive solutions to something that shouldn’t be such a problem.

Categories : Fare Hikes
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Citing the need to “assure the kind of quality mass transit that our economy and our communities demand,” Assembly representative Richard Brodsky, State Senator Bill Perkins and 12 other assembly members have called on Gov. David Paterson to reform the MTA finances.

In a public letter to the governor (available here as a PDF), the two representatives, heads of their chambers’ respective Committees on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, want to see real financial reform from the beleaguered transit agency.

“The fundamental problems of transparency, accountability, Board responsibilities and functions, oversight and public trust have become slogans that we all speak, but have not yet enacted,” they wrote. “We write because we strongly believe this financial crisis is an opportunity to, at least, fundamentally reform the MTA.”

The problems, according to Perkins and Brodsky, start at the top. “We need to open up the operations of the MTA, to provide regular outside overisght, and to ensure that the MTA and its Board are required to fulfill their mission. While this sounds simple and obvious,” the letter says, “it has become clear to us that the MTA and its’ (sic) Boards have not been able to meet these standards.”

Brodsky and Perkins’ ideas are mostly sound and most tame, considering the rhetoric in the letter. They write:

1) Board Members of the MTA should be subject to a statutory fiduciary duty to the mission and purpose of the MTA, as set forth in existing statutes.

2) There should be created a MTA/Authority Accountability Office to oversee that fiduciary duty and MTA operations, to recommend to the Legislature effective reforms of debt, compensation, MWBE, property disposition and other issues, to inquire into MTA activities and resolve complaints, and to receive and publish MTA documents. This is modeled on the successful NYC Budget Office.

3) The MTA should be required to publish, in real time, its finances, policies, plans and decisions. The current system relies heavily on post-facto audits. These do a reasonable job in telling us what went wrong. They do little to stop mistakes. Real-time review by the public, the Legislature, and the Authority Accountability Office could prevent problems not just explain why they happened.

4) The Comptroller should be empowered, consistent with the constitutional duties of the Office, to review selected contracts issued by the MTA.

My concerns about this proposal though stem not from their aims or ideas but rather from their misguided critiques of recent MTA problems: “Recent events at the MTA including the 2 Broadway deal, the 7 Line extension, the failure to publicly acknowledge cash resources, the failure to seek state and city support before voting for fare increases, and the focus on non-essential matters such as EZ-Passes for Board Members, has left the public with little confidence in the MTA.

Those aren’t recent events at the MTA, as Brodsky and Perkins allege, but recent news coverage of the MTA. As Chris O’Leary noted here yesterday, the myths about the MTA’s finances are largely media-driven, and Brodsky and Perkins are doing nothing to end the misconceptions that have allowed the State Senate to stall on a rescue plan.

Item-by-item: The 7 line extension is fully funded by the city, and the MTA shouldn’t have been blamed for failing to cover cost overruns. The MTA didn’t fail to seek state and city support before voting for fare increases. Rather, the state and city failed to support the MTA and had nearly a year’s notice of impending financial doom. The focus on the EZ-Pass scandal made for some juicy tabloid coverage but had little to do with the actual operations of the MTA. If the public has no confidence in the MTA, it is because the MTA is losing the public relations battle.

Brodsky and Perkins could have gone after the MTA for legitimate reasons. They could have examined issues concerning budget transparency, union relations and a bloated bureaucratic management structure. Instead, they chose to focus on the same old non-issues that make for good headlines and have little to do with the ingrained problems plaguing the MTA.

The Senate and Assembly should have more financial oversight of the MTA but not until the legislatures have shown they know what to do with that responsibility. Nothing I’ve seen out of Albany over the last month lead to believe any state representative could handle that duty.

Categories : MTA Politics
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  • MTA officially shelves SAS third track · Nine months ago, I reported on a proposed MTA plan to save money on the Second Ave. Subway construction costs by cutting the planned third track at 72nd St. While the track had been drawn up to allow other trains to bypass stalled cars, the MTA has officially decided it is an unnecessary expense, and Capital Construction cut it this week to save money. The agency is calling the cut a a $90 million savings, but because redesigning the 72nd St. station will cost $25 million, the decision to sacrifice future flexibility for present savings will net the project $65 million. It hardly seems worth it.

    In talking about the cuts at yesterday’s MTA Board meeting, Michael Horodniceanu compared the revamped Second Ave. Subway design to a poorly made American car. “We’re getting a Chevy,” he said of the long-awaited line. (Audio here.) I hope the city doesn’t come to regret the need to skimp on construction of this important new line. · (10)

As the MTA Board voted to pass a Doomsday package consisting of a 23 percent fare hike, the elimination of two subway lines and the scaling back of late-night and weekend service, the New York State Senate finally passed a comprehensive bailout package. The tax-and-toll plan will scale back the fare hike to a mere eight percent, avoid the service cuts, pare down the MTA debt and fund the agency’s ambitious capital expansion program.

Oh wait. Just kidding. Let’s try that again.

As the MTA Board voted to pass a Doomsday package consisting of a 23 percent fare hike, the elimination of two subway lines and the scaling back of late-night and weekend service, State Senators fell back on the same finger-pointing and party bickering that has come to dominate the Albany discourse. Our politicians again tried to blame a supposedly uncooperative MTA for Senate inaction and offered up the red herring of the commuter tax, another D.O.A. politically infeasible plan.

After fielding G.O.P.-targeted criticism in the city’s papers this week, Republican leader Dean Skelos blamed the Democrats for inaction. “The closed door discussions by the three New York City Democrats running state government have failed to produce an agreement on the MTA to prevent fare hikes, just as the closed door discussions on the state budget have failed to produce an agreement, with the deadline just a week away,” Skelos said in a statement.

Skelos has offered Republican support for an MTA bailout plan if it is tied to a road-and-bridges package for the upstate area.

Meanwhile, as Mayor Bloomberg urged the Senate to “do something,” one Senator took it upon himself to try. Martin Dilan, the head of the Senate Transportation Committee, proposed reinstating a commuter tax.

Support for the bill is dicey, and those who want the commuter tax reinstated believe the benefits should flow to the City and not the MTA. “The New York City commuter tax should be for New York City,” Senator Tom Duane said. “And if we hadn’t lost those millions from the commuter tax years ago, we wouldn’t be in such a dire situation with regard to the M.T.A.”

What the difference is, I don’t know. The City will benefit from a healthy and funded MTA. There’s also no guarantee that at any point the Senate would have diverted the flow of funds from the city to the MTA, as Duane suggests.

Furthermore, this proposed plan just won’t cut it. When the commuter tax was repealed during a good economy in 1999, it was estimated to bring in between $210-$360 million — or $267-$458 million in 2009 dollars. The MTA’s budget gap is $1.2 billion and climbing.

The tax has also suffered from historica bipartisan opposition. Upstate and Westchester-based Senators from both sides of the aisle felt the commuter tax unfairly burdened their constituents. With today’s G.O.P. mounting an ideological attack on the Ravitch Plan’s payroll tax, to assume a commuter tax — a plan far less equitable than bridge tolls — would pass defies reality.

(For an interesting debate on the commuter check, check out these two 2002 articles from the Gotham Gazette: pro and con. In a bad economy, the “con” argument seems a lot stronger to me.)

In the end, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith issued another half-hearted plea for patience in an attempt to defend himself. “We are clearly still working towards a solution for them,” Smith said. “There’s still some time before they actually institute the raise.”

If this is the Senate “clearly” working toward a solution, I’d hate to see what they do when they actually want to get something done. Smith inspires no confidence, and while there is indeed some time before the cuts and hikes are implemented, I don’t have any faith in the State Senate. Do you?

Categories : Doomsday Budget
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Friend-of-SAS Chris O’Leary, better know as the East Village Idiot, also happens to be a fellow transit advocate. Today, in advance of the MTA Board’s approval of the 23 percent fare hike, he penned an excellent piece disputing some common misconceptions about the state of the MTA’s finances. I was getting set to write a very similar post, and Chris offered to allow me to reproduce his.

So below is a guide to popular myths about the MTA’s budget problem. City Room comments certainly could use this primer. Be sure to check out East Village Idiot for a mostly humorous and sometimes serious look at life in New York City.

Today, the MTA will vote to raise fares again… this time to the tune of 23%. Your monthly Metrocard that cost you $81 this month will cost you $103 in June.

Yes, it’s outrageous. Yes, it’s unfair. But no, it’s not entirely the MTA’s fault. In fact, this fare hike could have been easily prevented by Albany in the past and present, but everyone finds it easy to blame the MTA for this. Stop blaming the MTA, and blame the people who deserve to be blamed.

Myth: The MTA can find the money, somewhere, to stop this hike

When people say this, I ask, how? Nobody has an answer, they just have a feeling. Well, I invite anyone who wants to make this claim to go into the MTA’s financial statements and find enough money to fill their $1.3 billion deficit. It’s not possible. They are out of money. And there’s a good explanation, which brings me to my next myth.

Myth: The MTA got into this deficit by spending too much on big projects

Read More→

Categories : Doomsday Budget
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