Paterson Pledges to Stop MTA Fare Hike

Governor Paterson is threatening to force state legislators to approve a plan to avert the MTA fare hikes that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of May. But WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports he isn't giving them a firm deadline. Addressing business leaders in Manhattan, the governor suggested he would force a "closed call" -- a parliamentary term for a session devoted to just one particular issue. But when asked later when he would do this, he didn't sound like he was in much of a hurry. PATERSON: I would say in the next few weeks, we would move towards a resolution. Already, lawmakers have missed two deadlines: Paterson wanted to address the MTA crisis by March 6th, in advance of state budget negotiations. MTA officials wanted to hear by their March 25th board meeting. The MTA has begun to write new computer code for MetroCard machines reflecting the higher fares. A spokesman says the preparations can be undone once a rescue plan is passed, but doing so will cost more and more money as the days go by.