Empty MTA?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pete Donohue, transit reporter for the New York Daily News checks in from the MTA news conference on possible major fare increases and service cuts.


Pete Donohue

Comments [26]

Myriam F. from Ithaca, NY

The proposed changes to MTA service and fares are outrageous. In difficult economic times people are likely to need train service more than when the economy is doing well. We seriously need to consider a realistic and fair tax structure for both state and city to deal with this budget crunch. We have needed a millionaire's tax for years!! We could also use some creative sales taxes, toll increases, etc. What are NYS and the City waiting for?

Do city and state politicians realize that limiting services may actually hurt economic activity in NYC, including hurting job seekers and small businesses in already poorly served areas? Where is the leadership to take care of the MOST BASIC service in the City of NY?!

Michaelw's idea of taking to the streets [#22] is looking like an excellent alternative at the moment.

Nov. 20 2008 05:24 PM
zahid from Brooklyn, New York

I would suggest a 32-hour work week ( 8 hours/ 4 days) for all workers rather than laying some people off.
Currently MTA have a 40-hour work week (8 hours/ 5 days).
I had left my previous job three years ago to work for MTA just for one simple reason JOB SECURITY.
And right now i am nervous.

Nov. 20 2008 03:51 PM
hjs from 11211

guessing carole doesn't take the 4 5 OR the 6

Nov. 20 2008 01:28 PM
Geoff from Manhattan

Bail-outs for the car makers and big banks, and we can't even get something for people to move around a city. It's criminal.
Ever heard of global warming? Public transport is the only way.

Nov. 20 2008 12:17 PM
Geoff from Manhattan

I lived in Germany for some years. Do you guys realize that the MTA is a joke by European standards? In Germany, every train and bus runs very frequently, on time to the minute, and there are never the kinds of problems we have here. So, what are they doing that we are not here? Taxes and proper funding for a public service, perhaps? These ideas are always met with general horror.

Nov. 20 2008 12:14 PM
michaelw from INWOOD

This is an OUTRAGE.

The Mayor and Governor are the MOST CORRUPT in history.

They should be run out on RAIL!!!!

People should take to the streets!!

$4 Million to re-name the tri-borough bridge???

What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov. 20 2008 12:03 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

a very good thing protected bicycle lanes are being built in manhattan--we've already experienced these "draconian cuts" in service, and it's time we stuck it to the mta by cycling. so sick of albany deciding what's good for the city vis a vis transportation.

Nov. 20 2008 12:00 PM
Sara from greenpoint

I will be actively promoting a one day boycott of the MTA on the day that the fare hike goes into effect, please join in, it'll be fun.

Nov. 20 2008 11:58 AM
Matt from Bushwick

Has the MTA every competently been made to present how they spend their money?

Nov. 20 2008 11:58 AM
Carole Potter from NYC

How about stopping work on the 2nd Ave "subway to nowhere"? There must be enough money set aside for that to bridge the gap!

Nov. 20 2008 11:52 AM
Tricia from Brooklyn

Can't the MTA just declare itself a bank and get a piece of the federal bailout? It seems like every one else is doing that these days....

Nov. 20 2008 11:52 AM

I think the best thing to do would be to make MTA public transit (not bridges/tunnels) completely free and supported by a sales tax. This could sustain itself based on increased economic activity.

If that's not a supportable idea then the MTA should suspend two of it's major Capital project debacles: THe East Side Access project and the 7-line extension. This would free up billions for maintaining the system and allow the necessary Second Avenue Subway project to proceed faster.

While we're pointing fingers, let's talk about the idiotic "holiday" discount from a couple years ago in which the surplus was wasted by lowering fares to $1 for a few weeks as a gift to tourists!!!! Let's talk about the ridiculous contact the MTA signed to receive a specific fuel for it's bus fleet that is only available from one supplier in the country and it's cost is now skyrocketing. And, yes, let's talk about how the MTA is horribly underfunded by state assistance. Rider's fares should not be paying for 60 percent of the system. That's way out of line with every other public transit system in the country.

Nov. 20 2008 11:42 AM
Leo from Queens

Is Anyone aware of the fact that the MTA is controlled by the governonr and Mayor? - They name the MTA board - It is the duty of the board to be competent and to provide workable solutions and proposals to the mayor and governor. The mayor and governor need to be held accountable for the good things as well as the mismanagement of the MTA resources

Nov. 20 2008 11:26 AM
Peter from Inwood

Josh, you are right. The MTA needs to find sources of revenue and not just take the easy way out by asking the poor straphanger to cover the costs. Corporations and businesses that benefit from people coming to work on the transit system should bear the burden as well.

Nov. 20 2008 11:10 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I am watching the MTA hearings right now. Here lies the problem. Revenue streams that are available to the MTA are not really in their control. Of course, the budget and service cuts being proposed are criminal. The MTA is not getting state money (they control the port authority too). While not a complete answer, there are other options. First, let the property tax rebate die. It only effects 600,000 people, but costs $256 million, about %20 of the shortfall by itself. I own a co-op and did NOT receive a check, because I didn't qualify under the rules. Second, re-institute the commuter tax. It would bring in $750 million, now, you'd only be down $500 mil. My dad paid the tax for 30 years and didn't bat an eye over it. Commuters use our subways 10 times a week, services and other infrastructure just like everyone else does. Many other cities do, including Yonkers for pete's sake. And they don't have nearly the services to pay for. Unfortunately, only the Mayor and Governor have the right to impose these measures. True, the MTA could pressure them, but they probably wouldn't do it anyway.

Nov. 20 2008 10:44 AM
Pter from Inwood

The MTA should reduce fares and increase services.
This would increase ridership which in turn would
reduce auto use and their inherent costs to the city. As well more people would come to the city to shop, the city would be a more desirable place to work and therefore the city's economy would grow. As well, the subways would be safer since more people would use the system at all hours.

Nov. 20 2008 10:31 AM
Pter from Inwood

The MTA should be REDUCING FARES and INCREASING SERVICES. That would increase ridership, reduce auto use and reduce road costs and bring more people into the city to shop and work, thereby increasing the city's economy. As well, the subways would be safer as more people would be using the system at all hours.

Nov. 20 2008 10:27 AM
nick from manhattan

please cut the WORTHLESS station attendents! it sickens me every time i swipe my card and they are talking with friends or kicking back. ask them for help and they still don't spring to life!

raise it too much and i will be riding my bike in.

Nov. 20 2008 10:11 AM
Leo from Queens

To Bobby G Post #3 - RIGHT ON!!!> Glad that SOMEONE is talking about the tricks pulled by Pataki where he saddled these 'independent' agencies with debt while using revenue on other projects. We have had at least a 35% fare increase since 2002 while service has steadily been reduced (Non-existent G service; No express service on the A line; reduced service on Central Park West; fewer trains at night and weekends)

Nov. 20 2008 09:57 AM
Leo from Queens

My understanding is that the MTA is the least subsidized public transport agency in the country - I have heard 60% of budget comes directly from fares - Is this correct?
Also, the rest of it's revenue comes from taxes on utilities and property transfer fees. The amounts collected in the last 5 years have more than doubled. Ridership has increased. Therefore there has been a huge increase in revenues - what was done with that money? where was it diverted to? Because service has been gradually reduced every year since 2002- Why wasn't part of that money used to pay down debt? - Has the problem of transparency and accountability been addressed? -We can't throw more money when money is being syphoned off to other things

Nov. 20 2008 09:53 AM
Nikolas from NYC

Double up the bridge tolls and invest it all in the subway. Bring the fair down to 1 dollar or so.
Discourage fuel consumption!

Nov. 20 2008 09:29 AM
Joe Umberto from Long Island, NY

The original fare structure of NYC transit was that you paid the same price no matter the distance. This was meant to encourage expansion out into the outlying areas of the city. Maybe it is time to consider that a rider pay based on distance travelled. Also, the TA and MTA are fat with middle and senior management that do little for riders, stations or subway trains. The time has come to trim the fat by 15% over the next three years.

Nov. 20 2008 08:51 AM
Joel Hoffman from Westchester

A lifeline for the auto industry and a fare hike for the MTA.... With this approach we will never reduce our oil consumption.

How about taking 25 billion dollars and putting it into public transit?

Nov. 20 2008 08:47 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Despite George's comments on this subject in the past, I still believe that $7.2 Billion (before cost overruns) East Side Access Capital Project that would connect Grand Central to Penn Station should be cancelled or postponed until the MTA can afford it.

The money saved could be used to pay off the irresponsible Pataki era loan interest payments that is killing the MTA Operating Budget.

The MTA needs to prioritize and cut back it's Capital expectations. Straphangers demand prudent financial management on the part of the MTA Board.

Economist say don't raise taxes in a recession, but the MTA wants a more then 20% increase put on the backs of riders and service cuts. That's madness. When was the last fare increase? When does it stop?

Nov. 20 2008 08:37 AM
Robert from NYC

Why is it that the media don't question the MTA's bipolar behavior when until recently they would at one point during a year they would make these big announcement and pronouncements that the have surplus money that they promised to use for improvements to the system and major building projects and that "thing" at the WTC that's now diminished, and then a few months later they would announce they were broke!! And it's not just once that they did that but at least twice. So why now are they not being questioned as to how it is they're now totally broke and we have to foot the bill like we have to foot the bill for EVERYTHING!!! And that's while the CEO or what ever the top guy's title is at MTA is, why is he being chauffeured around by city police? Guess what, well poor rich colleges, boo hoo are feeling it. WELL SO ARE WE ALL!! Yesterday's market fall really finally brought it home for me. The whole thing stinks.

Nov. 20 2008 08:07 AM

How about a local gas tax, or a state gas tax, to pay for some this? It seems more likely than a Federal gas tax.

Nov. 20 2008 08:04 AM

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