Streams

"Fair" Hike?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

John Liu, Democratic member of the New York City Council and Chair of the Transportation Committee, and E.J. McMahon, senior fellow for tax and budgetary studies at the Manhattan Institute, discuss if the MTA should institute a fare hike.

Guests:

Comptroller John Liu and E.J. McMahon

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Comments [22]

Transportation Alternatives from NYC

City Subway and Bus Riders Get Shafted

Aggravating the woes of New York City subway and bus riders is the historically inequitable distribution of state transit aid. New York City MTA buses and subways move 84% of the state's transit riders but get only 63% of aid. In contrast, Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth move 5% of the state's riders, but get 23% of state transit aid. Additionally, New York City transit riders pay nearly 60% of the cost of running the subway and bus system, whereas riders on the Long Island Rail Road pay only 44% and those on MetroNorth 54%; the national average is about 40%.

Transit advocates have suggested a number of new funding sources for city subways and buses. Foremost is the reinstitution of the commuter tax, which, this time, the MTA would dedicate solely to transit funding. Another option is imposing tolls on the City's East River bridges or, better yet, congestion pricing in Midtown Manhattan. Unless the state legislature takes bold action, New York City transit riders should prepare themselves for less frequent service, dirtier subways and
buses, more breakdowns and higher fares.
http://www.transalt.org/press/magazine/041Winter/18transit.html

Nov. 20 2007 05:09 PM
Sean Pisano from Brooklyn

Thats funny you would think that greater ridership would result in more trains and buses. I wonder why I have had to leave my house earlier and earlier to get to work on time? If I miss my 7:10 train I have to wait till 7:26 for the next one.

The service has become worse over the last thirty years I have been taking the subway.

Nov. 20 2007 11:40 AM
RC from NY 60%??

STRAPHANGERS FUND 60%?

Brian,

I might have a topic for follow Friday. It is the statistic that Councilman Yu used about how New Yorkers fund 60% of the subway rides. That smells for some reason.

My cousin who lives in the Bay area thinks the NYC subways are cheap. In Bart a round trip can cost $7.10

Folks play with the calculator
http://www.bart.gov/tickets/calculator/fareCalculator.asp

And on DC Metro:

It seems comparable to NY but they calculate by distance:

http://www.wmata.com/riding/hours_fares.cfm

Boston is slightly cheaper they offer a discount for the pass which you kind of get when you buy a metro card (the extra rides)

http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/subway/

LA is cheaper but I do not know how extensive is it.

http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/riders_guide/paying_fare.htm#TopOfPage

I just want some clarity on that number the councilman threw out there. I thought that for the price we pay, the NY Subways are one of the best values for your money. Do the riders of these other cities pay less of a percentage? If so are those systems more expensive?

I want to know the details of that statistic, i.e the source, if it is a survey, sample size etc. Are they talking about a mix of intra city and commuter rail transport?

The councilman maybe right, but I would like to see that number get fleshed out.

Nov. 20 2007 11:36 AM
Leo from Queens

If this was a normal corporation, the board members would have been indicted and fined by the SEC because of the mismanagement. We NEED governance and transparency with the MTA. - Taxpayers and commuters are open to pay their fair share if they knew that money was being properly used. Currently the MTA board makes decisions based on the personal whims of the mayor and governor. Mr. Spitzer, since he took over, has demonstrated that he is willing to fix some of the mismanagement and mistakes made by Mr. Pataki. Yet we should not leave it to the person who happens to be in Albany at the moment. We need clear, transparent governance and accountability at the MTA.

Nov. 20 2007 11:31 AM
Susan Neuffer from Manhattan

Mr. McMAhon said that he didn't know about any locality that completely subsidized mass transit. just as a casual visitor, I can say that the city of Chapel Hill subsidizes free bus transportation within its boundaries and with adjoining towns. Also, Seattle has a free downtown bus service, so people won't drive their cars! surely there are other progressive localities that do the same. the idea should not be dismissed out of hand.

Nov. 20 2007 11:31 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

The free market does demand a level of transparency. Especially in the case of the MTA which is a monopoly (which is the exact opposite of the free market).

Nov. 20 2007 11:28 AM
Rita McKernan from Staten Island

Staten Islanders get to ride the Staten Island Trains for FREE

Nov. 20 2007 11:28 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Greater ridership means greater wear and tear, more staff required, more trains and buses necessary. Costs grow exponentially. The city government would have to dump a lot of money into subsidies if they wanted to provide the same quality of service as smaller cities.

Nov. 20 2007 11:27 AM
Rita McKernan from Staten Island

Staten Islanders ride the Staten Island train for FREE

Nov. 20 2007 11:27 AM
ab

Brian, tell this free market moron that until the MTA's books are completely open for public audit the public will never trust them...and justifiably so!

Nov. 20 2007 11:26 AM
jenny from brooklyn

Portland Oregon has a "Fareless Square" in their downtown area where all bus and light rail trains are free.

Nov. 20 2007 11:25 AM
Robert from NYC

ALL city budgets should be entirely available to ALL resident taxpayers. ALL. EVERYONE OF THEM. End.

Nov. 20 2007 11:24 AM
tom from harlem from harlem

DJ said that other cities are ok to subsidize because ridership is not as great as ours.

What !!

What kind of logic is that.

Greater subsides make sense for places where there is more public use.

Isn't that more logical.

Nov. 20 2007 11:24 AM
Sean Pisano from Brooklyn

I want to see their books. Why is there no transparency?

Nov. 20 2007 11:22 AM
Leo in NYC from NYC

In the Pionerer Valley there is a free public bus system in the Amherst, Holyoke, Northampton area

Nov. 20 2007 11:22 AM
rick from Brooklyn

must there be so many guests from the Manhattan institute? these people couldn't care less about the greater or public good. they care about the "free market" and helping their rich friends..same with the AEI. please make a note of it!!

Nov. 20 2007 11:22 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

I predict that Elliot Spitzer's popularity will rise to pre-scandal levels after associating himeself with a few more of these "good" deeds for the citizens.

Nov. 20 2007 11:21 AM
Leo in NYC from NYC

LOCAL CONTROL!!! There will never be serious accountabilty and creativity at the MTA without brnging it under the umbrella of city government. It will never be a priority for the state government -- it should be responsive to the needs of the people of New York City via the mayor.

Nov. 20 2007 11:19 AM
keith from midtown (work)

Let's remember that the reasons stated for a fair hike is that there was a "projected" debt that will be happening. Meanwhile almost yearly we find that they are making more money than they "project". Perhaps we should wait for the need for a hike is evident before enacting it.

Also the hike may seem "modest" to some on your panel, but we all know some to whom it is not modest.

Nov. 20 2007 11:18 AM
Paul from Brooklyn

Why do we presume the MTA is being manipulative? Maybe its because we figured out the manipulation. The MTA ruthlessly constrains public knowledge of its affairs for a reason. It's not like they have to hide from a competitor. They simply must hide from us, the people.

Nov. 20 2007 11:14 AM
ab

UGH. God I hate the MTA. They "found" 220 million dollars? All of a sudden. Are their books open for public scrutiny yet?

"Found" 220 million dollars....soooooo ridiculous.

Ok this guy says they "adjusted"...well then why didn't they "adjust" before there was public pressure?

Nov. 20 2007 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

can we make biking safer in the city. maybe adding dedicated bike lanes with a raised curb as they have in some cities in europe.

maybe some pedestrian zones in lower manhattan or down towm brooklyn

Nov. 20 2007 10:15 AM

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