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And as others have mentioned, I'm all for funding the MTA (and Amtrak on the national level) but with that funding comes oversight.
I agree with #4. Maybe what the MTA needs is a very public and very deep and thorough audit. If they truly need the money, so be it, but the City deserves to see where every dime goes… from electricity for the track to paperclips on interoffice memos.
The subway is a New York City utility. Its accessibility and efficiency should be considered just as important as Con Ed. Government money should go to the subway FIRST.
I think we should stage a passenger strike: One day when all riders boycott the MTA.
Those of us who depend on the subway cannot bear the burden of a fare hike.
Great guest and great point that the folks who benefit from the transport infrastructure are not just those who use it. Just how short-sighted can all these lawmakers in Albany be not to see the advantages of investing in the system? There are so many benefits to people not using their cars in such a densely populated city.
Oh, side issue pet peeve, safe places for people to park their bicyles, there is a serious shortage of same.
Won't the budget gap be filled with the increase in ridership since gas prices have gone berserk?
how about a NYC "access zone" real estate charge for companies residing in zones that have close access to rapid transit?
Three comments/questions:(1)How come the transitchek card is limited to two transactions per day? When I called the MTA about this I was told that the machines at Grand Central Terminal allowed multiple transactions/purchases per day....why not all the stations...all the machines? It is very inconvenient and rather arbitrary.
(2) How can the MTA be such horrible managers of their budgets? One year they have double bookkeeping, a surplus is revealed, now they are in dept? When was the last time this quasi-public agency underwent a public audit?
(3)The information lines are *still* very poor. Offering call back service within one business day doesn't help the rider standing at the bus stop. Also, there should be a central number to call in compliments and complaints regarding MTA personnel. When will the contact numbers be updated?
A few years back on WNYC during a show about the MTA a lot of numbers were given. Some of the more dramatic numbers that I remember were that the subways get Six million riders on average per day and that the average price for a fare (post discounts, transitcheck, unlimited rides etc) was $1.30. Is this as straight foreward as it looks? Does the MTA generate seven million eight hundred thousand dollars a day just from the subway?!? If this is correct, how in the world could they be short on cash? That is an astronomical amount of money! that equals two billion eight hundred forty-seven million dollars a year, just from the subway. and these numbers are from BEFORE the last fare hike.
They want to tax you 8 more dollars to get into Manhattan with congestion pricing. Now they have more riders then they know what to do with. They should be swimming in revenue, right? Wrong, they want fare hikes and now could be swimming in 900 million dollar debt.
Please explain how that 150 million extra that they could have gotten from the FEDS for congestion pricing (and the extra revenue from the fee) would have actually gone towards more public transportation and not towards balancing their existing budget crises and filling the pockets of the miss managed MTA. For this reason, I’m so glad congestion pricing went down in flames…..
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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