Streams

Give Us Tolls or We'll Give You Fare Hikes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pete Donohue, transportation reporter for the New York Daily News, talks about bridge tolls and MTA fare hikes. Pick Your Poison: fare hikes, bridge tolls, or a payroll or commuter tax. How should we fund the MTA? Comment below!

Guests:

Pete Donohue

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Comments [63]

Christine from Manhattan

Get rid of free parking, especially in Manhattan! This is not a right it is a privilege.

Mar. 16 2009 01:43 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Groups such as Streetsblog, Transportation Alternatives, Straphangers Campaign, and other transit fanatic groups don't get the big picture here. The MTA plans on raising the fares and possibly cutting services even if the Ravitch Plan does go through, not in the event it doesn't happen. They attack any politicians who doesn't see it the way that they do and that includes those such as Lew Fidler, Malcom A. Smith, Hakeem Jefferies, Anthony Weiner, Sheldon Silver, and any other politician who isn't 100% on their side despite supporting some of it. Even worse, they only look out for themselves, because I doubt that they were helping us drivers when the tolls were going up, but rather supporting it and the same thing for rent hikes as well as wanting to get rid of affordable housing in Manhattan. They are like the Muslim Brotherhood, because they are only crying foul when it affects them, but not on others when it's on tolls. We don't need to have an increase in taxes and fees that we drivers are already paying for, because they are already as high as it is. The MTA can cut out some of the things that are unnecessary or should be used as a last priority rather than first. Sometimes the MTA executives scapegoat the unions as their fault for being in debt even though their demand for a pay raise was barely anything compared to what the police unions asked for. For the record, Senator Smith intends on included the MTA in the state budget so that there wouldn't be a need for giving anyone the royal screw job. The MTA should be resturctured but not abolished so that the money collected from the fares goes the right way rather than to themselves or for pet projects by other politicians. As for those wealthy Manhattanites, if you can afford anything else that is expensive and even more than three dollars like those luxury condos, than you can afford the fare increase easily.

Mar. 12 2009 08:05 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

This is not something new for the MTA, because they have been acting like this for years. The Ravitch Plan is just trying to present a different form of it. The MTA should be audited before even thinking about it. I too am against the idea of cutting services and possibly fare hikes, but it shouldn't come at the expense of drivers, who are already subsidizing the fares right now. When tolls are placed they are almost never removed, plus when they increase, it's not in quarters or dollars when the fares did, it was at least doubled. Why should us drivers help you riders any more than we are already helping you? It's not like you helped us keep the tolls low or wanted them removed once the highways and crossings they were used for were paid for, but in fact probably supported increasing it. Another thing is that us drivers do not get a free ride on those bridges, we are paying for them to be maintained with our taxes just like our roads, which is what our taxes and fees for infrastructure are meant for. I wouldn't be surprised if the MTA executives are spending this on themselves or other politicians are collecting those taxis and fees for their pet projects otherwise known as boondoggles. There are other solutions, but the MTA is very narrow minded on only thinking that only their ideas will work rather than those that don't cost a lot. Tolling the bridges will really make the outer boroughs into park and rides as they would have been under congestion pricing. The idea is not just a regressive movement, but also another Manhattancentric idea in thinking that only their opinions matter, while the rest of the city or even the metro area does not. We don't have to pick a weaker poison, but find ideas that actually can work without giving anyone the royal screw job.

Mar. 12 2009 04:01 PM
Marlon Ziello from brooklyn

Bernie Made off with all the money

Mar. 12 2009 03:56 PM
Steve from midtown congestion city

We should not be pitting driver versus pedestrian. We should all work together. How many pedestrains or bicycle riders follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signals etc? Next time, you are texting walking across the street holding up traffic backed up, while the DON'T Walk is blarring, think about stopping to wave some traffic through and do your part to help congestion. Next time you are in a cab, or bus or see an emergency vehicle carrying someone's loved one, held up while pedestrians cross with too often an idignant defiance. We all share the burden, so let's work together NY!

Mar. 12 2009 12:57 PM
Steve from midtown congestion city

Bring back the commuter tax which had a rational basis for it and we had it for years without fighting, until the political deal was made to drop it. Drivers in NYC pay approximately $5,900 a year to operate a vehicle in NYC. We pay high taxes at the pump, at parking, criminally high parking fines, high insurance rates, etc ...This is not a popularity contest because there are 15 times more people without cars. But most people who drive in do so because for whatever reason it is best for them, not because they love traffic. Only 12-15%(again in the Mayor's own study) would carry the burden of tolls, because the rest are exempt, or subsidized partially of fully, by their employers or a governmental job or related work. That is a text book example of a regressive tax. The wealthy would pay $100 a day, so who are you really hurting, no one, other than the working class and small businesses that must travel over the East river, many times a day. Finally, the Mayor's DOT policies continue to shrink roadway, travel lanes, as in Broadway, East 34th Street, West side highway, selling off parking and muni lots, which all cause more cars onto the street and squeeze us into yes, MORE CONGESTION! In closing if the $8 toll was supposed to raise 350 million, how does a $2 toll raise any more than 25% of that, thus it's a loser, unless a sham to then raise the tolls later? How many MTA employees earn six figure incomes? Some of those drivers support businesses that contribute greater per capita than the same average MTA rider to the economy of the NYC area too. As a closing thought, the MTA with record ridership for years must explain where's the money? How would the overcrowded trains handle more people in the next 20 years? And why is it that the Deputy Mayor of London has stated that the congestion tax has reduced small businesses 38% and caused havock around the zone and he wouldn't do it if he could reverse it?

Mar. 12 2009 12:50 PM
Steve from midtown congestion city

NO Tolls. The responses here are all the same cry from the same locations and the same thinking from people who haven't read the Mayor's own congestion tax study. If they did they would know that only 19% of the pollution often referred to come from cars, which will drop below 10% within 5 years, as a result of hybrid buses and vehicles and alternative fuels. Thus, 81% comes from buildings! Next, reducing cars, well, we actually have LESS cars coming into Manhattan since 2005. Why the congestion, simple, the Mayor's muni-meter madness everywhere for a few million dollars has caused 12-13 billion dollars lost sitting in traffic. We HAD two lanes of traffic east/west on the side streets in mid-town until 7pm, but since the end of 05 we have muni-meters; THUS cutting the traffic lanes in half, form two to just one lane!

Mar. 12 2009 12:50 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Heard this segment but was unable to post until now. I oppose the East River tolls for the same reason I opposed congestion pricing. I think it will simply put congestion elsewhere, in the case of the tolls in downtown Brooklyn where it is already congested.

I have a friend who is a boat captain. He said that the reason the Staten Island ferry became free during the Giuliani administration was because it was placed under the jurisdiction of the DOT instead of the Coast Guard. This meant less stringent inspections which was cheaper for the city even without the fares. We all know how that turned out.

Mar. 12 2009 12:49 PM
Andrew Mark from Manhattan

It's time to change our entire approach to mass transit:
a. Incorporate the cost of mass transit within NYC into the NYC operating budget (NYC's operating budget already includes a subsidy for NYC-based mass transit)..paid for by an increase in in NYC personal income taxes.
c. For all suburban trains tickets which terminate in Manhattan, include a standard mass transit fare which will be paid to NYC.

Incorporating mass transit as a City-provuided free service, we'll eliminate those costs related to per-ride collections...AND...by making it into a City-service paid paid for by an increase in the progressive income tax, we'll finally get ride of the regressive structure which has been incredibly punitive to lower income earners.

Mar. 12 2009 10:56 AM
Diana from Bronx

RE the Bx12 Select bus in the Bronx, where you pay outside the bus (at terminals, w a metrocard or coins) and get a paper receipt to keep with you during the ride. You can then board at either the front or back door.

Contrary to the on-air caller's impression, this system IS working, most riders LOVE it, and it is well-patrolled. I ride this route frequently, and it seems that they did allow a grace period for people to get familiar with the system before starting to enforce it. Teams of 2 inspectors periodically board the bus at stops and ask everyone to produce their receipt. During busy times, the inspectors wait outside the bus and ask everyone getting off the bus to produce a receipt - that way the inspection does not hold up the bus.
The fine for not having a valid time-stamped receipt is at least $100 and maybe as much as $175, and this is a deterrent, people on the bus can be heard discussing it.
When passengers don't have to board only on the front, and take time to pay on the bus, the whole process is MUCH faster. Plus this bus makes express stops only. The ability to get from one side of the Bronx to the other swiftly is invaluable (there's no subway that goes across the Bronx, subway routes in the Bronx are basically north-south)
I think that many more people sneak on the back of the regular pay-at-the-front buses than do on these pay-at-the-bus stop buses, and the caller's impression that the Bx12 encourages farebeaters was incorrect.

Mar. 12 2009 10:41 AM
dbnyc from Brooklyn

we need all of them:
1. commuter tax similar to what existed previously paid by folks who work in NYC (regardless of how they get there) but don't pay city income tax
2. payroll tax paid by businesses within service area of subway, lirr and metro north
3. bridge tax on all entry points to manhattan not to exceed the equivalent of a subway roundtrip
4. higher metered parking rates

the number of cars traveling into manhattan has got to be reduced. if the above won't do it, fare hikes on LIRR and Metro North. last choice would be hike in subway fares.

Mar. 12 2009 10:39 AM
Parisian New Yorker from Manhattan

In Paris, the subway is a dream compared to the New York system. If you have ever been, you probably noticed the advertisements in every station. This is a crucial source of revenue for the subway system and an important way of reaching audiences and consumers for local and national businesses. It is indirect and voluntary tax paid by businesses that actually benefit from all the employees and consumers commuting everyday!
Some commuters complain about the "visual noise," but I believe everybody's happy to have 14 subway lines with a train every 2 minutes on peak hours.

Mar. 12 2009 10:38 AM
LAIAH RAPHAEL from GREENWICH CT

ANOTHER COMMENT: I AM REALLY FURIOUS ABOUT THIS. THE MORE MONEY THEY GET FROM TAXPAYERS, THE MORE THEY WILL WASTE AND OR TAKE IT FOR THEMSELVES. AND I DON'T EVEN LIVE IN NEW YHORK!! LAIAH RAPHAEL

Mar. 12 2009 10:38 AM
Miss from in the City

The last caller was just repeating the Verrazano urban legend --Verrazano was never going to be free.

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/urban_legend_about_verrazano_b.html

Mar. 12 2009 10:36 AM
David from Harrison, NY

The payroll tax -- assessed against school districts -- is untenable -- yet another shifting of one governmental entity's failures to other governmental entities -- which are then shoved down the property taxpayer's throat. Tolls, yes, commuter tax, yes, payroll tax on school districts -- NO!!

Mar. 12 2009 10:36 AM
LAIAH RAPHAEL from GREENWICH CT

CUT EXPENSES. OUTRAG;EOUS SALARIES OF MTA EXECUTIVES AND CUT THE NUMBER OF EXECS WHO ARE RUNNING AROUND THERE. HOW ABOUT PERFORMANCE BASED SALARIES LIKE THEY ARE SUGGESTING FOR TACHERS. PERFORMANCE OF THESE GENIIUSES IN CHARGE HAS BEEN PRETTY POOR. IF YOU LSOE MONEY YOU MOSE YOUR JOB. THERE HAVE TO BE SMART WELL EDUCATED RESOURCEFUL AND CREATIVE PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE THE MTA BE NOT PROFITABLE BUT TO AT LEAST COME OUT EVEN. IF THERE ARE NOT SUCH PEOPLE WE ARE IN BIGGER TROUBLE THAN WE IMAGINED. LAIAH RAPHAEL

Mar. 12 2009 10:34 AM
Corey Ferrell from Oxford, CT

I work in NYC - commute via MetroNorth.

Many people do not have options for transportation. In this economy, it seems unfair to pinch that sector - those who use mass transit. I was a proponent of the congestion pricing model. There are too many people who CHOOSE to use their cars as a convenience. This is the target market. I am also not a big fan of tolls. The high-speed or express overhead scanners are fine. But I also agree with one of your earlier callers - how do you collect from those who do not have a tag. So, I'm afraid I go back to a gas tax. People need to think twice about driving. Gas prices go up - so does mass transit ridership.

Mar. 12 2009 10:33 AM
Lance from Manhattan

Nina[26], that is an awful idea.
The subways are already filthy, disgusting, and full of rats. Put vending machines on the platforms, and the garbage on the tracks will only worsen. (London and Paris subway users are much cleaner than NYC subway users.)

Mar. 12 2009 10:30 AM
LAIAH RAPHAEL from GREENWICH CT

CUT EXPENSES OF THE MTA. CT THE OUTRAGEUS SALARIES. HOW ABOUT PERFORMANCE BASED SALARIES LIKE THEY ARE SUGGESTING FOR TEACHERS. THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE GENIUSES IN CHARGE HAS BEEN PRETTY POOR. IF YOU LOSE MONEY YOU LOSE YOUR JOB. THERE HAVE TO BE SOME SMART PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO CAN MAKE THE MTA BREAK EVEN AT LEAST IF NOT BECOME PROFITABLE. WHERE ARE ALL THE MBA'S AND ENGINEERS - BUT NOT THE ONES WHO RAN OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEM INTO HE GROUND. LAIAH RAPHAEL

Mar. 12 2009 10:29 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

Whatever happens we need to freeze the Monthly Unlimited price. Fare hikes should only be on single fares. Otherwise you're discriminating against commuters who live in NYC.

Mar. 12 2009 10:26 AM
Michael Cone from Hell's Kitchen

Bring back the commuter tax! I live on 9th Avenue and every evening I see all these cars with only one person in them heading home to New Jersey. Since congestion pricing didn't pass, I think it's only fair that we keep these commuters from skipping out on paying their fair share.

Mar. 12 2009 10:24 AM
Eileen from Manhattan

How about the brilliant scheme that has been proposed recently of increasing the price of street-side parking to meet demand. The way it works is those prices are gradually increased step-by-step until, at any given time, there will be two or three open slots per block. The theory is that this will also reduce traffic a lot, because at any given time, certainly in Manhattan, a fairly large percentage of the traffic represents people circling around and around looking for a parking space. This system both raises more money from that "prime real estate" and clears the streets.

Mar. 12 2009 10:24 AM
Wendy from Brooklyn

I can't understand an argument against east river tolls that are equivalent to subway fares. I understand that many people who drive are from areas not served by public transportation. If they were served by pt, they would pay the fare like everyone else. Why shouldn't they pay the same fare to use the roads (which really costs more for the rest of us, because of the pollution they emit and the amount of our taxes that go towards road maintenance). I just don't get the argument that drivers should pay nothing! I also think that taxis should have a new tax. Many (most?) taxi users are in Manhattan, where there really is no excuse not to take the subway. If you want to add to the congestion and pollution just so you can ride in a car, you should pay for it.

Mar. 12 2009 10:24 AM
C.T. Crowe from Ridgewood, New York

I do have to say that I'm sick of the argument that tolling the bridges would somehow be
"against the right of freedom of travel in the city." Strange that no one says that the subways should be free so as to facilitate movement within the city. Everyone should contribute their fair share to a transit system that is vital to the city.

Mar. 12 2009 10:24 AM
Ben from Brooklyn, NY

To me the question here is a matter of time. Living in Brooklyn, even regularly scheduled maintenance cuts the quality of life for me and my neighbors significantly. The dearth of subways in this huge borough is bad enough, but cutting that service even more would send a message: "Outer boroughs, you're on your own."

Service cuts are a slap in the face.

Mar. 12 2009 10:24 AM
Doug from Manhattan

NYC fares are much lower than other cities -- London, Chicago, etc.

Even $3 is also lower, subsidized, and a good deal. If lower-income people would be too much hurt by that base rate, do this:

Give lower-income people a discount voucher, based on proof of income for monthly passes, or subsidized by transit chex via employers, and raise the rates otherwise.

Tax on payroll to businesses is unfair -- my employees telecommute mostly, yet the business is based in NYC. I have 4 employees that take the subway and I'd have to pay $3000 per year I could not afford. Would help drive my business out of the city.

Mar. 12 2009 10:23 AM
Jason from brooklyn

Do them all. Then no one can complain that they got screwed.

Mar. 12 2009 10:23 AM
Mark from Astoria, Queens

Citizens and politicians need to understand that these decisions are not only about RIGHT NOW. The time when we can all get in our cars and drive whenever we like is over. Now is the time to invest in mass transit. Tolling East River bridges would encourage ridership and bring in revenue from those who continue to drive and crowd our city's streets with their cars.

Mar. 12 2009 10:23 AM
robert from park slope

What would be the price of a fare if the MTA had to raise 100% of its revenue from riders?

Mar. 12 2009 10:23 AM
Hesch mobility impaired in LES from Lower East Side

LARGE sections of NYC are two-fare BUS zones (especially the outer-boroughs -- if there is transport at all).

The 25-cent transfer within the 2-hours (or whatever) would drop that barrier to ridership.

TTBOMK, the number of 2nd-bus-transfers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I don't know if there is a bus-to-subway-to-bus anywhere.

Mar. 12 2009 10:22 AM
robert from brooklyn

I'm already paying an East river toll: my subway fare. I don't see why drivers shouldn't pay as well. Taxis should be exempt though.

Mar. 12 2009 10:22 AM
Eric from Manhattan

I'm still not convinced that the budget gap is really as large as the MTA is stating since their accounting practices are notoriously unreliable - it might be larger or smaller, but I'd rather get the number from a the comptroller than Sander. What about looking at the inflated costs of payroll for the MTA which accounts for 40% of total costs? How many redundancies are there in the system? How much can we save by taking this low-hanging fruit?

Mar. 12 2009 10:22 AM
Karen from Manhattan

No tolls on intra-city bridges. Small payroll tax, $.25 for transfers, $.50 for the ferry.

Mar. 12 2009 10:21 AM
informed citizen from NYC

Bridge tolls, DEFINITELY!

Isn't the most important thing to discourage driving and encourage mass transit? Too many cars, too much pollution, etc. - people do not need cars in the city. Everyone can afford mass transit, and it is more efficient and cleaner. NOT everyone can afford a car.

Also, from the north and west, people pay tolls - why not everyone else? If it's a big burden, that's great - take the train!

Why would you raise transit fares? It will be more difficult for MILLIONS of commuters, and encourage more cars. Completely wrong!

Also, fewer cars will save money in the long run on pollution, road repairs, etc.

Thank you! I hope Albany listens.

Mar. 12 2009 10:21 AM
Sharon Houlihan from Elmhurst, NY

A 25 cent charge to transfer from subway to bus discriminates against many riders in Queens who live in "two fare zones."

A payroll tax for employers would add an additional burden to small business owners with one or two employers who are already over burdened.

Mar. 12 2009 10:20 AM
b

Here's a better idea >
no-more-free-street-parking!

I need to drive for my job, but most people just park on one side, then park on the other. grr!

Mar. 12 2009 10:20 AM
jill from new york

Why can't the pain be spread around with a smaller hike on MTA fares, combined with a commuter tax? That way both NYC residents and commuters contribute.

As a Brooklyn resident who regularly uses the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, I don't want tolls on other East river crossings, as I suspect that will greatly increase the use of the BBT. Right now most people take the bridges to avoid the BBT toll, but I'm willing to pay it for the quick ride to Manhattan-- there's never a wait at the toll plazas and I can be in Manhattan is less than 15 minutes from leaving my apartment in Kensington. Don't ruin my favorite route to Manhattan!

Mar. 12 2009 10:19 AM
Nina from Brooklyn

How about vending machines on the platforms(snacks,water, etc.)like in London? and rent out more space for lil businesses, and Advertising on the outisde of the train?
East River toll is an awful idea as it will be at traffic nightmare-and miserable for all!

Mar. 12 2009 10:19 AM
Wendy from Riverdale

I vote for bringing back those super-creative people who kept the MTA books (2 sets of them, in fact!) a few years ago. They'll be able to find money we don't even know is there.

Mar. 12 2009 10:18 AM
Nara from manhattan

Raising fares for users of public transportation is absurd. We should be creating incentives for using mass transit for all the public benefits it creates (environmental and lessening traffic). Tolling people driving into the city who are not taking advantage of Metro-North should be charged (I know a lot of people who drive in because they think it's more comfortable, not because of lack of other options!).
A gas tax is also a great idea!

Mar. 12 2009 10:18 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Re: Comment 10

Sorry, 4, 5 or 6.

Mar. 12 2009 10:18 AM
Lindsey Lusher Shute from Manhattan

It's time for NYC Straphangers to storm Albany!

Join T.A., Communities United for Transportation Equity, the Empire State Transportation Alliance and the Campaign for New York's Future to tell State Lawmakers: Fund Transit Now. The bus leaves next Wednesday, March 18th.
Sign up here: http://ga3.org/campaign/albany_2009

Our coalition supports a funding solution that asks all system users--riders, drivers and businesses--to contribute.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
Leonid from Warren, NJ

I wonder why nobody mentions cost cutting as a partial solution to the MTA problem. After all, MTA is not much different from General Motors in that they have generous employee benefits, plenty of non-performing people in their unionised workforce etc.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
B. Jones from Brooklyn

My advice would be to stop treating the MTA's funding like an annoyance and give it the respect it deserves. We need to Put Tolls on the bridges add a congestion tax and raise the fares on Buses, Subways, and commuter trains. In return the riders should get BETTER service, more express trains, an expansion of the infrastructure (Staten island railway tunnel, 2nd ave subway all the way down to houston, one seat service to all the airports). The MTA is the answer to our environmental and quality of life issues. I think we need to treat it as we would clean water, a precious urban asset.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Of course we wouldn't be having this discussion if Sheldon Silver hadn't sold us down the river last summer by opposing any plan for congestion pricing.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
Douglas L. from Brooklyn

I am against east river tolls.
It is just another toll of the
Bloomberg administration to punish
the poor and middle classes of NYC.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
Dana from Brooklyn

I vote fare hikes for one of the world's most affordable and most extensive mass transit systems! I'm a poor grad student and am still willing to pay an additional amount per month to ensure our continued (and potentially improved??) system. The monthly metro card expense is a steal as far as I'm concerned. Throw some stimulus cash at the fare hike to sweeten the deal.

Mar. 12 2009 10:17 AM
JJ

1) Speeding cameras. That would make us safer and generate more money for the city and re-purpose police to other things on the LIE. (Yes some will figure out where they are just like in the UK)

2) Raise the parking tax for garages.

3) Perhaps bump the metered parking. Instead of 25 cents per minute, 25 cents per 5 minutes.

Mar. 12 2009 10:16 AM
Lynas from NOBAR North of Zabar's

As a struggling citizen, I think we should spread the burden, All options should be used in this time of economic distress; higher fare, tolls, payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, commuter fees, etc. That way we all share the cost but much smaller amounts for each increase.

Mar. 12 2009 10:16 AM
Eric from Park Slope

Brian, you're off-base when you say people in Brooklyn don't want bridge tolls. It's only the small minority of drivers who are taking advantage of free bridges who are adamantly opposed to tolls (plus Marty Markowitz).

Since far more of us here in Brooklyn use mass transit, placing tolls on the bridges would have great benefit for many more commuters.

Even better, let's implement the Kheel-Komanoff plan and make buses free, too.

Mar. 12 2009 10:16 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Once again the riding public is being held hostage to the lack of public policy on mass transportation. It's crazy -- and should be unacceptable. And we have no choice. Albany is a mess. Our public officials are cowards -- they are supposed to represent us. It's outrageous. When are we going to do something?

Mar. 12 2009 10:15 AM
Catherine Torpey from Rockville Centre

Oh, I take it back - of COURSE there should ALWAYS have been a huge gasoline tax. It should be at least 50 cents a gallon.

Mar. 12 2009 10:15 AM
Mark from Astoria, Queens

I live in Qns, but I'm in favor of East River bridge tolls. Albany blew its opportunity with congestion pricing, when we would have gotten $$ from the Feds. The problems with congestion, pollution, etc from cars aren't going away. By increasing mass transit fares, we're only encouraging more people to drive.

Mar. 12 2009 10:14 AM
Bobby G from East Village

False choice! The reason in MTA budget is overwhelmed is because of debt.

The MTA should postpone the $7.2 Billion East Side Access Capital Project that connects Grand Central to Penn Station until it is affordable, and use the money to make the debt payments.

If you want to get from Penn Station to the East Side take the 1, 2 or 3 Train one stop and the S to Grand Central.

Mar. 12 2009 10:13 AM
Douglas L. from Brooklyn

I am against East River Tolls.
Since getting laid off I am driving
Yellow Taxi. I am sure they would
put tolls in the Brooklyn and Manhattam
bridges and neglect to give the taxi's
any raise.

Don't forget that when gas went up to
$4.50 a gallon Bloomberg and the TLC
refused to give us any raise.

Also with $3 buses people would be more
willing to ride in Taxi's

Mar. 12 2009 10:13 AM
Anne from Manhattan

Tax plastic bags. Just a few cents per plastic bag will raise some money. And it will encourage some people to use canvas bags instead of plastic.

Mar. 12 2009 10:13 AM
Charles from Brooklyn

The city of New York is one city, and dividing the city based on bridge tolls goes against the right of freedom of travel in the city. The middle class should not give up this freedom. Once they lose this freedom, it will never be returned.

Mar. 12 2009 10:12 AM
Sally from L.E.S.

The least bad ways to fund the MTA in order of preference:

1) Salary cuts for MTA Executives
2) Commuter tax

I'm hesitant to list the others because they are just so bad.

Mar. 12 2009 10:11 AM
Catherine Torpey from Rockville Centre

Hi Brian-

Normally, I would have said get back the commuter tax. However, since the crash, we don't want to discourage people from working in NYC from the suburbs.

It WOULD be great to discourage cars coming into the city, so I say the bridge tolls are the way to go. I love the idea of car drivers subsidizing subway riders and buses.

Mar. 12 2009 10:10 AM
C.T. Crowe from Ridgewood, New York

The question you asked is should we have fare hikes, bridge tolls, a commuter tax or a payroll tax. What about all four, each at MODEST amount? It would perhaps not be the most popular choice but at least it would be fair.

All I know is if the State fails the City YET AGAIN it will be time for the City to get out of the State.

Mar. 12 2009 10:10 AM
ELIZABETH from NYC

I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan. I take the train to work, except occasionally on weekends when I prefer to drive in. As someone who both rides the subway and drives in the city, I think tolls an/or congestion pricing is the way to go to pay for public tranportation. But I worry that service (incl. frequency, quality and expansion) never keeps up with need, regardless of previous surpluses, funding increases, and fare hikes. Drivers should be taxed more, but the MTA needs to be shaken-up and held to account for it's poor record of performance and transparency.

Mar. 12 2009 10:09 AM
James from Manhattan

Why not raise the subway fares significantly for tourists? Keep it down to $2 for residents of the five boroughs, but everybody else could pay something like $5 - which is still relatively cheap by global standards.

Mar. 12 2009 10:09 AM
anonymous from Queens

Why isn't the city lobbying Albany and Washington for a larger share of the stimulus money?

Mar. 12 2009 10:05 AM

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