Streams

MTA Proposed Fare Hikes

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Matthew Schuerman, Reporter, WNYC Radio, and Andrea Bernstein, WNYC reporter and director of the Transportation Nation blog, discuss the MTA's proposal for fare hikes on buses, trains and EZ pass users (tolls).

Weigh in on the fare hikes.

Guests:

Andrea Bernstein and Matthew Schuerman
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Comments [12]

Dan from UWS

These arguments the MTA is making about monthly users--so called "superusers" being subsidized by other users is a property of any pricing system in which multiple prices are set for the same product.

When I buy a 12oz can of soda, or an 8oz bottle of water, and I subsidizing customers who buy soda, or water, in 2 liter packages?

If this is truly a problem there's one clear solution: Go back to tokens.

But we're not going to go back to tokens.

Have you asked to see copies of the studies the MTA has performed? What about the pricing models? Has the MTA engaged any consultants to advise them on pricing policy? If so, where are the reports? I want to see them, maybe they'll turn up on WikiLeaks, or perhaps the MTA hasn't engaged any consultants and there aren't any reports.

MetroCards generate a whole mess of data...let's see it.

Let's see the data.

I am not satisfied anytime the MTA tells me about "averages."

Have you read that 1955 classic: "How to Lie with Statistics"? http://books.google.com/books?id=GGZwNHXY9K4C I suggest, no I urge, you to read Chapter 2: The Well Chosen Average in which you'll find the following quote:

"My trick was to use a different kind of average each time, the word "average" having a very loose meaning. It is a trick commonly used, sometimes in innocence but often in guilt, by fellows wishing to influence public opinion or sell advertising space."

Anytime you hear the word "Average" you should become suspect; do they mean:
Mean
Median
Mode

Anytime I hear "MTA" and "average" in the same sentence...fuggedaboutit.

Jul. 29 2010 05:05 AM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

The subway system/bus leaves a lot to be desired. They are always crowded at rush hour and we the passengers have to travel like sardines. The busses often take a long time to arrive, especially when one is tired and just wants to go home. The MTA authorities should improve service, not raise fares.Eugenia Renskoff

Jul. 28 2010 01:16 PM
Rudy from Queens

Another thing the MTA could do is increase its value by improving its customer communications. 90% of the time I'm frustrated by some screw-up (usually the MTA's, sometime mine) it comes down to communications, or at least the mishap/delay would be tolerable if properly communicated. No, I'm not talking about emailing me the weekly delay list (which stopped coming anyway).

I mean live announcements that can actually be heard. And understood. That takes repair and conductor training. (Pity the poor foreign or Midwestern tourist!).

It's telling us that a transfer point's service is closed BEFORE we get on the first train (rather than the required alternate route).

It's clear, truthful signage. (E.g., Although sometimes you can cajole a paper transfer from a booth clerk in unusual cases, officially the "free" transfer at from F to 4,5,6 at 63rd/59th & Lex is NOT free. It eats your bus transfer. Proper wording would be: "Your ride's transfer can be used for....").

It's putting that signage where we need it. (If the an express train is local today, put the posters on the platform, not just upstairs (who stops to read it there when running for a train), not just in an announcement after you're on (when I"m on an E but should have taken the F!).

It's when the tunnel is closed, telling the riders on the platform asap. (Once a crew looked came from under the river, and having the flooded tunnel unusable, walked slowly to the other end of the platform to report it their finding. Think they would tell us poor schmucks standing there waiting? Not until I stopped them and asked, then shouted the news myself.

The list is virtually endless. Communication is part of EVERYTHING the MTA does and should become engrained of its culture. That is far from the current situation.

Jul. 28 2010 11:26 AM
Rudi from Queens

A $1 surcharge for each fresh card? Yeah, right. When the MTA gets rid of the expiration dates, or at least will roll over an expired card full remaining value to a new card AT A CONVENIENT LOCATION (not mail), and cleans ALL its readers to handle a worn card on the first swipe!!

Jul. 28 2010 10:44 AM
jade

I agree with the MTA on the equity argument; its unfair that people who can't fork over for a "monthly" card are paying more per ride. As to the "superusers", such as the social worker, they should have their employers reimburse them for their costs.

It really bothers me that they want people to pay for the card itself.

The most important thing for them to keep, however, is the free transfer from train to bus, however. I think taking that back would hit many disadvantaged people rather hard.

Jul. 28 2010 10:42 AM
The Truth from Becky

Ridiculous to continuously try to increase expenses on an already maxed out consumer! Stop it!

Jul. 28 2010 10:38 AM
Mike from NYU

Or they could join the 21st century and get cards like the tube in London that are re-usable and don't even need to be swiped. The MTA is archaic.

Jul. 28 2010 10:37 AM
Jamison from Fort Green

Maybe the MTA sould not suck at book keeping and stop screwing us!!
Its always BS when it comes to the MTA

Jul. 28 2010 10:36 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

Higher fares will actually save me $$$$, because I will stop popping all over town, looking for a particular book, kitchen utensil, restaurant, art gallery, tie, etc.

Jul. 28 2010 10:34 AM

NYers pay albany's bills. where is albany when we need them.

Jul. 28 2010 10:32 AM
Mike from NYU

They should up the per/ride fare to $3 or even $4 and drop the monthly fares so that residents can use the subway for cheaper on the backs of tourists and occasional riders. This is the way its done in other countries.

Jul. 28 2010 10:31 AM

maybe mta should pay me interest when i prepay my fare?

Jul. 28 2010 10:30 AM

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