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Pete Donohue, transportation reporter for the Daily News, explains the details of the proposed MTA fare and toll hike plan.
The maddening thing is the public hearings that are held to let the public comment on higher rates for rent, transportation, from what I've seen on TV, the board sits there, like they are enduring a bad office visit at the dentist, and then do what they planned anyhow.
Effectively the public has ZERO influence on their plans.
Cash tolls on the GWB are now $13. In a couple of years it will be $20.
The next mayoral race must include calls for rollbacks on tolls and fares.
I don't have ez pass as I don't use the bridges that often and the person who said only the Amish, must not have ez pass is a disgrace and an insulting over educated underachiever. Many times the ez pass is not quicker than the pay lanes.What needs to happen is that just like in Dublin Ireland they got rid of the toll booths and all of the traffic associated with the booths went away. This needs to happen here.
P.S. I am a big user of mass transit, however to get to work in queens I'm not spending 2 hours on mass transit when I can spent 25 mins in my car. All of those on the MTA board should be mandated by law to take mass transit to work for a year, and lets see how they would then comment.
I may have missed the comment, but isn't anyone at all concerned with voluntarily signing up for government sponsored surveillance via their E-Z pass cards and the Metro-cards purchased with their credit cards?
Cash toll payers should pay signicantly more than EZ Pass. If we need to employ ill collectors just because some Luddites want to chat, they should pay for it. It's 2012- get Ez Pass. Yet another conversation about regional transportation with no mention of the retirement/disability fraud that the NY Times exposed a couple years ago. Or the ridiculous pay contracts where a conductor gets paid triple rates if he goes from an electric car to diesel locomotive, etc. Its obscene.
Who has decided to put tolls on bridges, subways and buses, but not one city streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries? Maybe it's time to think outside of that box and find another way to allocate necessary money to our essential transportation systems, so that people can use the system without the all the resources spent on buying/selling tickets and maintaining the tolls--even when automated. If there's no greater benefit to the city from tourist buying power, a transportation tax collected in the airport can be imposed. Companies who need their employees will need to contribute and, of course, all NYC residents will contribute. In case of disaster, people can move out of the systems without the existing dangerous barriers. And instead of policing the system for people who try to sneak in without paying, more policing will be directed toward greater safety of commuters. What human being wouldn't like the idea of not worrying where their metro card is, whether the ticket machines actually operate, if there are lines to buy tickets, to enter the turnstile, how many times to swipe the metro card before it lets them get in, etc.
FACT CHECK - there IS a $1 monthly fee on both NY and NJ EZpass so infrequent users pay $12/year even if not used.
I just gave in and got EZpass last week! In spite of the $1/month, I think I can save with the Sr. discount enough to break even. I hardly ever use the bridges, and use the Parkway only once or twice a month - so $12/year "overhead" has made me reluctant to sign up in the past.
@Henry - Without subsidies - the full cost would probably be $4.50 a ride
What about those Metrocard balances that I'll never be able to use? You know when you get down to, like, $.21 on your card? How will I ever actually be able to use THAT money? Yes, I know: add more value to the card. But then you whittle that NEW value down to $.14, and so on, and so forth.
So basically, there's a certain percentage of my money that I apply toward my Metrocard that I will never be able to use UNLESS I calculate exactly how much money to add (taking into consideration the 7% bonus, of course) to create a balance that will perfectly work out to "X" rides. But I'm not in the habit of whipping out a calculator at the machine—nor would the seven people behind me in line appreciate me doing so, since they've just been waiting for me to swipe three or four different Transitcheck cards because I can't remember which one of them has $.75 left on it and which one has $13.50....
@ Wendy- do you like interacting with the toll booth clerks too? maybe you're right, it is worth the wait to have that amazing experience of interaction w/ our cheery toll booth clerks. such happy, helpful people!how about the booth workers in the subway? they're great, helpful people too. i love them. i love waiting on their line to buy a metrocard so they can provide zero information w/ attitude, ignorance and indifference.
Hi heard you all talk about Wendy from Franklin Pk's comment about not having EZ pass.The guest said why not have the EZ pass even if you only use it a few times a yr / a month? He also said how sorry he feels for the long line of people in the $$ line.
I don't have EZ pass & I use the Battery Tunnel, Verrazano Br & Outer Br Xing a few times a yr (NOT at rush hour) & I FEEL SORRY for all those with EZ pass having to wait on those long lines while I zip by in the $$ lanes!
@Wendy in Franklin Park. What trouble? Even if you only go through tolls once a year, setting up the ez pass probably takes less time than waiting in the toll line just once. And it also works in other regions - I technically have an Ipass from Illinois from when we lived in Chicago, but it works all up and down the east coast for those occasions that we go to Boston/Maine or down to Baltimore or DC. My brother lives in NC, but brings his up here when he rents a car in the Northeast. Seriously - one car trip on the GSP or Turnpike makes it worth getting one. Just sayin...
the bridge tolls are another thing. the port authority is out of control.the rates keep going up on the busiest bridge in the country and nobody is stopping them.they are *funding* the *building* downtown with the fares, for goodness sake.this is outrageous behavior. what does someone from north carolina going to maine need to fund their building for?no. they are completely out of their minds. but they have a monopoly and hey, can do whatever the *&$# they want.
the only grace is using ezpass - get a discount.why would i do otherwise? the lines for cash are also out of control.
How much of the money collected for the purchase of Metro-cards (and Easy-passes for that matter) is not used by the purchasers for travel on the systems that get the benefit of those monies?
Info about EZPass: you load it with a certain amount of money, and that money stays in your account until it's used. Then when you get close to a zero balance, EZPass charges your credit card whatever pre-arranged amount you select. It's totally worth it, even if you only drive out of the city occasionally. The cash lines at all the bridge crossings are nuts!
I've owned an EZ-Pass before owning a car.
I seldom drive, but I have an EZ-Pass. It's just way to inconvenient not to. There will be 20 lanes on the highway and like two lanes backed up to pay cash.
Also, for a while when I didn't have EZ Pass, i picked the wrong lane on one of those express EZ-Pass highway splits and got nailed with a mailed fee paying the full price of whatever thru-way I was on.
Also, you do pay stupid maintenance fees and such. EZ Pass billing is stupid, but it's too much of a pain not to have one.
rather than the occasional drivers subsidizing the commuters, why not make the car commuters subsidize transit even more? We should not be rewarding those who commute by car in a region with the most extensive mass transit system in the US. The tunnel tolls should be higher during peak hours and lower during off hours.
you can have a card and it won't chip away at your balance.however, there is an *expiration* date on the card.after the card has expired, they're happy to allow you to put money on it.but they won't allow the card to be used to enter the system.that's a monopoly for you.
oh - that and raising rates whenever you feel like it.and no - as the guy is saying that they listen - no they don't listen. it's just too lucrative to stop, listen and do something fair.
I heard from an MTA worker that people who use the SI train can get off, go about their business, and get back on without having to pay. Is this true? Do people from SI can a perk?
In Colorado they scan your license and send you a bill rather than having to go through the whole ezpass process. Has this been evaluated in the area, are people in the area even aware of this option?
I'm a subway rider and find it a little disconcerting that we are subsidized by drivers. My question is why does mass transit cost so much, and how much would fares be to cover the full cost of trains, subways, and buses?
When will the MTA get rid of the metrocard altogether and move to a magnetic based tap system - like London's Oyster card? The current swipe system is more costly to maintain.
@aun- "My wife and I do not have e-z pass because we enjoy interacting with human beings." oh my god....that's one of the funniest i've ever heard!! brilliant, just brilliant! all those friendly toll booth collectors! wow, must be nice to live in your world!! so funny...i'm crying laughing right now!
No need to be snarky about those of us who do not have ezpass. Since we usually take mass transit, we would only use it a couple of times a year. Why would I go to the trouble?
If not used within 24 hours, the monthly Metrocard should freeze until next use. This would help when people are ill or using othermodes of transportation. And it would keep the monthly card an attractive bargain.
My wife and I do not have e-z pass because we enjoy interacting with human beings. My wife has become friends with one toll booth collector. She gave this toll booth collector a present on Christmas. The toll booth collector helped her one day when she forgot to take a ticket when she entered the highway. Your guests comment about the Amish is idiotic.
Just returned from Washington DC where fares are more than $3-$4 one-way during peak times and are based on distance. Also kids 4 and above MUST pay - they watch the kids like hawks. I just can't believe it. I will no longer complain about MTA fares period where both my kids 8 and 4 ride free.
how is it possible that you can't leave staten island with a car without paying? you can get from brooklyn to manhattan without tolls. it is impossible to get from staten island to city hall in manhattan without paying tolls. make the tolls cheaper for si residents - charge those that are passing through!
Surely one way to implicitly have tourists pay more than New Yorkers for subway rides would be to raise the price of single rides and weekly tickets, but keep monthly tickets the same price.
Shouldn't you comment on the public policy of having drivers subsidize riders given climate change, the negative effect of driving on the environment, and the issues around clean air and cars?
I don't mind them raising prices but the money raised in transportation needs to stay in transportation.
In NY, there doesn't seem to be any way to allow the people, via referendum et al, to force government to make sure this is the case.
i hate this logic...people drive because the MTA is horrible. we have a 3rd world transit system. if you've traveled anywhere else in the world you know this is true. this is all about the overpaid morons that run and work for the MTA.
Will the size of fare increase depend on the amount of money the MTA, via the state, gets from the feds for hurricane Sandy?
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