Home Asides ‘I’m thinking of driving to work’

‘I’m thinking of driving to work’

by Benjamin Kabak

Mariella Pallazzo is a Queens resident who, according to public records, lives north of the LIE but south of Flushing Meadows. Her nearest subway stops are a bus ride away, and Pallazzo, according to the Daily News, commutes to her job in Midtown on the X51, a bus that will make its latest express ride this evening. Her 35-minute, one-seat ride will soon become significantly longer.

In speaking with the News today, Pallazzo bemoaned the service cuts. “I’m so depressed about it. It’s going to be so inconvenient,” she said. “The No. 7 train is so crowded and packed. I’m thinking of driving to work.” Pallazzo is an administrative assistant, and it’s unlikely she can afford to costs in terms of time, gas, tolls and $30-a-day Midtown parking rates on a daily basis. She’ll probably just take a bus to the 7 and weather the crowds.

Her attitude though is illustrative of many people’s approach to service cuts. People use transit in New York City because it’s cheap, efficient and quick. It allows them to avoid traffic and travel long distances in short order. It allows the city to function. When services are cut, workers from all walks of life and businesses along with them suffer. With two subways and numerous buses set for their final rides this evening, today is a sad day in the history of transit in New York. Despite Albany’s best wishes, the MTA is not bluffing, and the city will be worse off for it come Monday.

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oscar June 25, 2010 - 12:50 pm

its ok, as long as the TWU doesn’t have to make any concessions.
that’s what matters.

JP June 25, 2010 - 2:54 pm

‘It allows the city to function’ is right on. Most of us wouldn’t be able to live without it.

Peter Smith June 25, 2010 - 9:39 pm

train is crowded? i hear there’s a solution for that called decongestion pricing.

ferryboi June 26, 2010 - 9:49 am

Peter, it’s called “congestion pricing” not decongestion, and I’m not sure how that would make the #7 train any less crowded. Gouging drivers = more people like Ms. Pallazzo riding the rails. How does that make trains less crowded? Do you honestly think the MTA will use any money given them by drivers wisely and increase service? The MTA already makes tons of money off its bridges and tunnels (yes, they actually turn a profit for the MTA, unlike subways and buses) and still the MTA is in a big hole. They don’t need any more of our money, they need to learn how to spend what monies they get wisely, a tall order indeed.

rhywun June 27, 2010 - 1:39 am

I think Ms. Pallazzo was being a little overdramatic, and thus ideally quotable from the perspective of our local tabloids, but I too am not sold on “congestion pricing” and I am rather skeptical that the government would use the funds to improve transit rather than toss the into the general treasury in order to cover the looming pension crisis or to pay for more anti-smoking commercials or whatever else might strike their fancy.

PS. And while the surprise “ADA defense” is clever, I’m no expert but I read that the MTA was pretty careful not to cut services for those with disabilities beyond what federal law already requires. So I assume federal law does not require running fixed routes just for the sake of wheelchair access.


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