Streams

°F Slightly cooler today with showers possible this afternoon. Hear what this means for four very different New Yorkers.

Matthew Schuerman

Editor, WNYC

Matthew Schuerman appears in the following:

Comptroller Thompson: No MTA Service Agent Cuts

Monday, May 18, 2009

City comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson wants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reverse its plan to eliminate almost 600 customer service agents in the subway. The MTA abandoned other planned service cuts after the state legislature agreed to a bail-out earlier this month. In ...

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Biking Rules, and Has Rules, Too

Friday, May 15, 2009

Today is National Bike to Work Day. A leading advocacy group is doing something that shows just how far bicyclists have come. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: The group Transportation Alternatives is expecting to hand out thousands of copies of a new handbook called "Biking Rules" ...

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Group Asks Port Auth to Update Bus Lane for NJ Commuters

Thursday, May 14, 2009

By the year 2017 New Jersey residents are supposed to get a brand new rail tunnel that will double the number of commuter trains coming into Manhattan each morning. But a new report out today sticks up for the humble bus rider. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman ...

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Plans to Auction Take-Off Slots Dropped

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Obama administration is abandoning a controversial plan to auction take-off and landing slots at New York's airports. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

The slots are normally distributed on a case-by-case basis and then kept indefinitely by the airline. But the Bush administration had proposed auctioning off ...

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Paterson Calls for Resignation of Public Intergrity Commission

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Governor Paterson is calling for the resignation of all 13 members of the state's Public Integrity Commission, following a blistering report from the state Inspector General that says the commission's executive director broke state law during the investigation into the Spitzer Administration's Troopergate scandal. The ...

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MTA CEO Lee Sander Resigns

Thursday, May 07, 2009

MTA CEO Lee Sander is stepping down from his post, just a day after the state legislature approved a major bailout of the authority. WNYC's Mathew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: It's unclear just how much Sander is being pushed out and how much he's graciously stepping ...

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The Tax That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

As mentioned in today's 411, people paid a lot of attention to the ill-fated East River bridge tolls over the course of the MTA bailout debate, but very little to the payroll tax (a.k.a. 'mobility tax').

Music to soothe the nerves of exasperated commuters. Musicians discuss their performances May 5 after auditioning for the Music Under New York arts program which funds NYC subway artists. (Getty)

Music to soothe the nerves of exasperated commuters. Musicians discuss their performances May 5 after auditioning for the Music Under New York arts program which funds NYC subway artists. (Getty)

Maybe that was Richard Ravitch's intention all along: to create a maddening diversion with tolls (which would only have net $600 million a year in their most expensive form) while the payroll tax came in under the radar and did all the work ($1.5 billion and counting). It's a steadily increasing tax that should do wonders to shore up MTA's portfolio. That's because the taxes that currently subsidize fares tend to be transactional and therefore extremely volatile. The MTA's $1.8 billion operating deficit this year wasn't created just because real estate values dropped--because they did, though not very much. But what really plummeted were the number of real estate sales. And the MTA only makes money off of real estate when it is bought, sold or mortgaged. (The city of New York, by contrast, makes money based on property values.)

Just look below at the slow, steady growth in the region's total payroll over the past 20 years, as provided by the state Department of Labor. By comparison, according to the MTA, the Urban Tax (imposed on sales and mortgages of commercial property in the five boroughs), went on a five year slide in 1987, dropping a total of 85 percent before recovering. Last year, the Urban Tax began another decline, which the MTA expects (hopes?) will bottom out next year, down 46 percent from its 2007 peak.

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Albany Reaches a Deal on MTA Bailout

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The New York legislature is expected to approve an MTA bailout bill today. And they’ll do it without bridge tolls, service cuts and drastic fare increases. WNYC’s Matthew Schuerman explains.

REPORTER: The agreement pushes the hard part into the future. The fare hikes this summer will ...

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Skelos Says MTA Plan Bad for LI Commuters

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Don't expect many New York Republicans to cross party lines and vote for the MTA rescue package. The Senate Minority Leader, Dean Skelos, says it doesn't look like much of a rescue for commuters in his Long Island district.

SKELOS: All I see is a lot ...

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MTA Head Says Agency is Transparent, Accountable

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Lee Sander is defending his agency against the attacks state senators have made against the MTA during the debate over a bailout package. Speaking on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, he said State Senators failed to understand just how ...

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Silver Not Satisfied With MTA Plan

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the MTA bailout deal that Senate Democrats tentatively agreed to last night does not have enough money for capital projects.

SILVER: I am mindful of the 70s when the system was allowed to deteriorate and I think what ...

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Senate Takes Up MTA Rescue Plan, But It's No Panacea

Monday, May 04, 2009

The State Senate is expected to take up Governor Paterson’s revised rescue plan for the MTA today, and could pass it as soon as tomorrow. But as WNYC’s Matthew Schuerman reports, the move won’t end the transit authority’s troubles.

REPORTER: The Governor’s latest plan will allow ...

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MTA Moves Forward With Bleecker Street Station Project

Monday, May 04, 2009

Even before it gets potential new money from the state, the MTA is moving forward with projects it has already bid out. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports on one that's underway in lower Manhattan.

REPORTER: For years, straphangers have faced an awkward subway transfer in Greenwich Village. ...

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Building Collapse Closes Streets in Lower Manhattan

Thursday, April 30, 2009

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There's a street closure in lower Manhattan as emergency personnel clears the site of this morning's three-alarm building collapse.

A five-story building at 69 Reade Street has suffered a partial collapse of the front of the building. A car was ...

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MTA to Balance Books with a Change to Budget Cycle

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has fallen into such dire financial straits that it's changing its budgeting cycle, at least temporarily. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: The MTA decided to create an 18-month budget starting in July, instead of seeing through the current 12-month budget that ends ...

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Senate Delays Vote on MTA Rescue Plan

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The state Senate was slated to vote on an MTA rescue plan today, but now it won't happen until next week. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: Lawmakers made two minor amendments on Tuesday, necessitating the delay. The state constitution requires any bill rest on lawmakers' desks ...

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MTA: More Deficits Loom

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the economy is looking so bad, the agency will have a $621 million deficit this year, and a $1 billion deficit next year. But Chief Financial Officer Gary Dellaverson told MTA board members there are currently no plans for additional ...

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MTA's Debt and Disrepair

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The state Senate is expected to vote on a rescue plan for the MTA Wednesday. Even though an earlier version promised to end the MTA’s woes for some time to come, it is looking more and more like a short-term fix. WNYC’s Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: ...

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The Short Unhappy Life of a Subway Rat

Monday, April 27, 2009

ratA New York City Transit official named Eric Barthell briefed the MTA board members Monday on rats, and what transit system is doing about them. He brought a helpful prop, pictured above, though much of his message was that rats ...

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Despite 80 Degree Heat, It's Cold Underground

Monday, April 27, 2009

The weather's getting warmer, except in one part of Manhattan. The MTA has been freezing a two-block section of earth far underneath 11th Avenue to make it easier to drill a tunnel for the Number 7 subway extension. The head of the MTA's capital construction ...

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