Streams

MTA: Fair Fares?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Jay Walder, chairman of the MTA, discusses the upcoming MTA board vote on the latest round of fare hikes, and the state of his agency.

Guests:

Jay Walder
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Comments [109]

Betsy

Canada looks a little less charming when you read this article by Andrew Nikiforuk: http://www.onearth.org/article/blame-canada

Sep. 12 2011 11:45 AM
Lucy from Long Island

The MTA will continue doing as it pleases because they are the modern age monopoly. They know we need their services and we have no options. Which ever way you look at it, they still get paid. I commute to the city everyday via LIRR. I wish we can boycott the MTA but the reality is they got us good. We need our jobs. How else are people from the suburbs getting to work? There's just so many of us. MTA has obviously proven that they cannot manage themselves. Its time for a change. But how will that change come about? That's the true test.

Oct. 28 2010 11:38 AM
oscar M from ny

Phone company's should make an app or widget with digital real time track of were are our trains, this can help alleviate wait and we would be able to synchronize this city and also help time security all across the city.
Ex, I take the X train,..is it to hard for me to go to ma phone from anywhere I'm at and open mta and press X train.. and it tells me exact time where is my train and when my train will arrive, sort of what we have in the L train at Lorimer, but fancier
xD

Oct. 14 2010 11:31 PM
Oscar M from ny

WTH?..mta got to be kidding me!!..this city is so lame,.."hey mta why dont you sell your stock to wall st and sell it buy it and resell it and than write a whole bunch of numbers in your account??? you guys are ridiculous... instead of that mayor whos worried about our sugar intake, he should take the initiative and build a ponsi scheme in the mta that way no ones bitching about how poor they are..ughhhh this city is a settlement???

Oct. 11 2010 05:33 PM
Jack in Bushwick from Brooklyn

Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman for those count down clocks (which are often wholly inaccurate) - it really helps the riders out, especially on a weekend when the L train is not running, there is mass confusion at the stations and it took me an hour and a half to get to 34th Street from Bushwick and Grand. No need for a direct shuttle bus to get people into the city - no, that would actually be helpful and intelligent and a working solution for your riders. Better to waste MORE money on gadgets and continue to provide rotten service to your riders. Who cares what the riders think anyway - it isn't like they can get a discount when you fail to provide the service you have charged them for. It isn't like there is any recourse for them.

Oct. 09 2010 01:52 PM
Merez from NYC

I'm curious as to what fraction of my 1-trip fare goes toward which cost. The fact that the MTA is making it's third fare hike in three years because it's "forced" to pay for shortfalls says more about their inability to manage their business than the state of the economy.

Where I come from, people lose their jobs when they've proven they don't know how to do them.

Oct. 08 2010 12:08 PM
Phi Nguyen

Cellular companies pay obscene amounts of money to rent space for towers. This money goes into off shore accounts. It's called kick back. A suit gets an envelop stuffed full with cash. The working people get stiffed.

Oct. 06 2010 11:24 PM
Mike from Inwood

For some time now, I've realized that I could save a few bucks each month by purchasing the card with 10 rides and some fraction of cents and refilling it INSTEAD of the $89 30-day card, but I've bought the 30-day card anyway so I didn't have to keep refilling the card when I'm in a hurry. At $104, I think I'll start purchasing the 10 ride card in January.

Oct. 06 2010 12:15 AM
Esme from Manhattan

The B and C lines are the worst. The trains are old, the Upper West Side stations such as 72nd, 86th Street and 96th Streets have not been updated since the 1940's and are a disgrace with water pouring in every time it rains and years of encrusted dirt. There are constant cutbacks on the weekends - the B does not run and the C sometimes runs as an express without warning.
When will the MTA have a look at these lines and bring them into the 21st century?

Oct. 05 2010 06:18 PM
James Bradley from New York.

1. Cash tolls should cost drivers more than EZ Pass tolls; they cost the MTA more to process and they cost everyone time in traffic.

2. Allow the cell companies to put up service in subway stations. Then you only have to supply a phone number, you don't need "help access points." Save the money! And riders will be happier, which means everything will seem like a better value.

Oct. 05 2010 03:47 PM
Why Not Charge Non-NYC area Residents More ? from NYC ...


One potential source of revenue would be
to charge non NYC-area residents more
(or more politely to SUBSIDIZE fares for
NYC-area residents). MANY cities around
the world do this in many areas of service.

It also makes sense that people who live in the area and are taxed to help pay for the MTA are charged less for its services.
NYC has many tourists and out-of-state
commuters who do not pay into the MTA transit system via their taxes - many are comparably well off so a fare increase for
them would also be less of a burden than it is for many of the NYC-area's poorer residents.

Oct. 05 2010 02:52 PM
Alice from Washington Heights

I agree totally with Lloyd Z's two points. PLEASE no cell phones. Long bus rides are unbearable because of cell phones. There is relative peace on a subway car. Also, I stand on subway platforms in Washington Heights and see the rusty water dripping down the support posts and the ceiling support beams and wonder how long before they give way. I see the old dried up paint peeling away and hanging down from the ceilings. The tiles are filthy and stained and disgusting. I wait and wonder what third world country I'm living in. Somewhere I heard that this is the richest city in the richest country in the world. Really?

Oct. 05 2010 01:01 PM
Helen from Brooklyn

MTA priorities are wrong. Completely eliminating an essential route like the B71 that has no other bus or subway close by is wrong. It is worse in light of the use of funds for cell phone access and advance time info. Those are nice but the bus route was essential. I noticed that Mr. Walder did not directly answer the B71 issue. Perhaps because there is no valid justification. This was a mistake and it should be remedied. The route should be reinstated. Why is track work on the middle tracks of the F line more important than service to those on the B71(for example)?

Oct. 05 2010 10:58 AM

If Christy gets to use 2 billion intended for mass transit tunnels under the Hudson for roads and bridges instead, we should definitly charge more to come in from Jersey.

Oct. 05 2010 10:56 AM
Peter from Bklyn

Great segment - MTA.... BUT, ... even Brian & the listeners can only do so much....

NOBODY, it seems, played the "emperor's new clothes" number on Jay's pet project, the countdown clocks.

All one has to do is what was done in other contexts - ask what it's costing, what the "benefits" are AND what could have been done without this boondoggle. I can't answer the first, and I fear that Jay couldn't either. Yes, there would be costs, but when the top man wastes thousands of hours on something of a "because we can" nature, there's a huge cost that doesn't make it to any ledger.

Oh yes, the benefit - someone tweeted him that's it's "way cool." It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. Also, it's really Orwellian - it would cost big bux to get the trains to run better, so we'll skip all that and tell you how bad it is - "20 minutes 'til next train" - instead.

I work in high tech, and I'm not knocking ALL innovations, but this one was and is a loser. Of course, it'll have to go into hundreds more stations - "wouldn't be fair" to limit it to the gold, I mean, green line - 4-5-6....

And then it'll be "operated" and maintained at a cost of how many 10's of millions per year?!

I'm with the Cobble Hiller who wonders what happened to the B71 and others. He put it well - this is the M.T(ransportation).A.... The "T" doesn't stand for Technology. The count down clocks deliver no SUBSTANTIVE value to riders. Let's make the money and people of the MTA accountable - doesn't look like even this talented bureaucrat "gets it." Time for Mayor Mike to find someone who does!!

This is no way to run a business, and NY's transportation (along with education) are 2 of the biggest businesses in the country ... neither of them being run in a business-like way.

Oct. 05 2010 10:55 AM
laura

2 issues that I deal with on a daily basis:
- I am at the uptown C station at 50th street every night at 11, right when the Broadway shows get out. Every night, people enter that station wanting to do downtown, which is not accessible from that side. It was bad enough before the station agent was removed, but now every night I play MTA employee directing people to the downtown side. The signage is not nearly clear enough, and the "help" intercom is useless. Not to mention the number of people I see jumping the turnstile or letting people in through the emergency exit.

- I am also at the uptown A platform at 59th late at night several nights a week, and it's astounding to me that musicians with amplifiers and complete drum kits are allowed to be on the platform, playing loudly enough that there is nowhere to escape to without being bombarded with the noise. The same guy with the karaoke mic has been there for months, and it's really awful when you have to wait 15-20 minutes for an A train - it's loud enough down there, why are these guys allowed to make it worse? Move them up into the station level where people can choose to listen or not.

Oct. 05 2010 10:54 AM
Elaine from Manhattan

Streamline Access A Ride:

The reservation process is endless and painful due to the slowness and repetitiveness of the process

1. Allow online reservations: If you cannot do it for the vans then do it for taxi authorizations.

2. Change the phone reservation format:
When the addresses are already in the computer do not have them take the time to repeat every detail of the location. They can just ask if the address and phone number is still the same and not endlessly repeat the information.

This would eliminate a large number of reservationists, speed up the process and stop wasting everyones time.

Better supervision of reservations who during the reservation process, put you on hold endlessly while the joke with their friends. How do I know this? Often they leave the line open and you can hear them.

Oct. 05 2010 10:54 AM
marjorie hirsch from manhattan

I do not know why the MTA doesn't institute tolls on the local bridges -- Brooklyn, Manhattan, etc. Why should wheels be privileged over transit riders? They use public roads and services and foul the air. If there's a toll over the Broad Channel bridge -- going from one part of a borough to another -- why not tolls over the East River, etc.? It's unfair and incomprehensible.

Oct. 05 2010 10:49 AM
sheryl haynes from Rochdale Village, Queens

I agree with bringing new & uselful technologies into the system but how will that help the rider if the subway/bus line has been eliminated? I work in Manhattan, starting before day. I drive in from Queens because the local bus is loaded to the gills by the time it reaches my area. No room to breathe. People are standing in the entry ways.

Oct. 05 2010 10:49 AM
Betsy from Amenia, NY

A shocking fact: the woman the MTA hired as their "cost-cutting czar", Diana Jones Ritter, spent money like a drunken sailor as head of the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). For example, under her leadership, OMRDD's costs for caring for the developmentally disabled have reached $4600 per person per day (that's $1.7 million per person per year) -- 4 times as much as the next most expensive rates in the whole country! It's a scandalous waste of our taxpayer dollars, yet no one has paid any attention except the Poughkeepsie Journal in a series of articles (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?NoCache=1&Dato=99999999&Kategori=NEWS01&Lopenr=100719011&Ref=AR&template=theme&theme=wassaic). But no one seems to care that this state agency is clearly wasting billions of dollars, and that the woman who spear-headed the waste has moved up to become the MTA's $200,000/yr "cost-cutting czar." WOW. Brian - look into this!

Oct. 05 2010 10:47 AM
Dan from UWS

When oh when will the MTA implement a fare policy (and in the process rectify a nutty aberration) that normalizes the expiration time of the MetroCard? There isn't any reason, nor basis, for the 1-day card to expire @ 3am (or is it 2am) and the other cards to expire @ midnight--all of the cards begin to count-down from the first swipe and all cards should expire @ the same time!

Oct. 05 2010 10:46 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

It is obvious that MTA is poorly managed. Why don't the executives acknowledge this and take a pay cut instead of firing people whose very livelihood depends on their keeping their job? The executives of MTA are most likely unwilling to bear the burden in the same way that they are asking their employees and the public to do. Such greed that drives the Board!

Oct. 05 2010 10:43 AM
Daniel sorkin from Forest Hills

Boycott the monthly pass when the fares go up!
The $15 monthly increase on the present $89 monthly pass is about a 17% increase, not the 7.5% the MTA chairman talked about.
Buy pay per ride cards instead and reduce your system usage. Walk, bike ride, carpool wherever possible instead of using the bus or subway. This is what I will do come January. Send the MTA this message: There is a limit.

Oct. 05 2010 10:43 AM
Rudi from Queens

You said it -- "Communication"

Over the years, I've drawn up a list of at least a dozen ways to improve it. Many come down to common sense and thinking like a rider, not an MTA employee. A couple recent examples:

Some LIRR stations require traveling in the first four cars. In Penn Station, where is that notice? Just an inaudible announcement a minute when you're seated, a minute before departure? There should be a notice on the platform and on the ticket, AND a marking on the platform or last of the four cars. I had to walk to the front, then look for empty seats while counting during the run back. A group of several passengers I asked didn't even know which way was forward. Turns out I was in the 6th car, but didn't know it tillthe conductor came through, just before Forest Hills. Even he wasn't even sure which care we were in, except that I was too far back (it was the 6th)!

Change notices: Putting them outside the turnstyles makes sense, but is hardly the whole job. Who stops to read posters before rushing through the turnstyle? The PLATFORM is where they have time to read. And notices should include news of connecting trains, not just the line the rider is on, since connecting trains may affect the choice of train at that point.

PS: To the MTA person who is reviewing these comments, please also check comments from past MTA appearances on the Brian Lehrer show. Repeating them here gets tedious.

Oct. 05 2010 10:42 AM
Robert from Manhattan

Regarding the question about whether bridge and tunnel cash tolls should be raised more EZ Pass tolls: I think it depends on who the cash payers are. If mostly they are, as I would guess, infrequent or intermittent users, e.g., tourists visiting New York, or moving vans, then raising the cash tolls disproportionately will not encourage EZ Pass use, and will just be another tax on visitors who can't vote. In that case I don't think a disproportionate raise is in order. In fact I think that would suggest that cash tolls be raised less than those for EZ Pass holders.

I am sure information to make such a judgement is available or easily obtained.

I am, by the way, an EZ Pass user.

Oct. 05 2010 10:42 AM
Dubious Statistics

I'd love to know how the MTA determined that weekly unlimited passes are purchased by more low-income people than monthly unlimited passes.

In my experience, it's typically tourists who use the weeklies--the riders with the most expendable income of all of us.

Are we supposed to believe that the MTA is including those numbers in their statistics? How do they track them?

Oct. 05 2010 10:40 AM
Emiko Shnozaki from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Please reinstate the Carroll Gardens bus B71! This restates the complaint of one of the callers on-air. This line is particularly essential to those of us who belong to the Park Slope Food Coop and live along this bus route. There is no alternative. It would be counterproductive to belong to a environmentally conscious organization and be forced to use a car service to transport food.

Oct. 05 2010 10:39 AM
laura

2 issues that I deal with on a daily basis:
- I am at the uptown C station at 50th street every night at 11, right when the Broadway shows get out. Every night, people enter that station wanting to do downtown, which is not accessible from that side. It was bad enough before the station agent was removed, but now every night I play MTA employee directing people to the downtown side. The signage is not nearly clear enough, and the "help" intercom is useless. Not to mention the number of people I see jumping the turnstile or letting people in through the emergency exit.

- I am also at the uptown A platform at 59th late at night several nights a week, and it's astounding to me that musicians with amplifiers and complete drum kits are allowed to be on the platform, playing loudly enough that there is nowhere to escape to without being bombarded with the noise. The same guy with the karaoke mic has been there for months, and it's really awful when you have to wait 15-20 minutes for an A train - it's loud enough down there, why are these guys allowed to make it worse? Move them up into the station level where people can choose to listen or not.

Oct. 05 2010 10:38 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Why punish regular NYC commuters with fare hikes - instead of hiking 'day card' fares used by tourists who will pay what you charge as they are there to travel and see city?

Oct. 05 2010 10:38 AM
Bob from New Rochelle

Why no mention of increased gasoline taxes? Elsewhere in the world high as taxes make the real environmental and social costs of unlimited driving be realistic, and high. Gas in Europe costs the equivalent of $6.00 per gallon or more, and the taxes are used to fund transportation operations and infrastructure investments we need so badly. It is just not right that I should be able to drive my private car onto Manhattan without paying any toll whatsoever.

Oct. 05 2010 10:32 AM

R Train in Bay Ridge: What's the point of having an express train, if you have to wait 20 minutes to catch the local. During rush hour. I wait on the 59th Street Platform and see 2or 3 N's pull in and dump off train loads of people. It takes forever to get into that R train and get home.

Oct. 05 2010 10:32 AM
Peter A. from Upper West Side

I think the countdown clocks are terrific. However: why doesn't the MTA put them somewhere near the turnstiles, so passengers can see them BEFORE they decide to swipe their cards, and pay the fare? Can't they be better positioned to allow passengers to choose whether they wish to wait, in an informed manner, or seek other means of travel?

Oct. 05 2010 10:32 AM
Michelle from Brooklyn

I don't live in Staten Island but isn't the ferry a free service? If it is, that's not right. Make them pay like everyone else.

Oct. 05 2010 10:31 AM

Bottom line: everyone wants service but no one wants to pay for it. Let the other guy pay for it -- not me! Plus -- everyone goes berserk about taxes and spending. Unless we all engage in magical thinking 24/7 it is impossible to have working infrastructure on no funding from anywhere. So either pay taxes so the money can come out of the common trust or each one of us will need to pay and pay and pay. There is no free lunch, people.

Oct. 05 2010 10:31 AM
CL from New York

If the MTA spent half as much effort on improving service as Walder does on PR, then the system would be acceptable. As it is, the MTA is a grand embarrassment to New York City. In times of economic boom and in times of bust-- it makes no difference-- the MTA is simply horrible. Other cities have figured out how to improve their public transit systems. Why can't New York? How, exactly, have all of the "improvements" that Walder reels off resulted in a better system for the riders? Walder should be summarily fired. In the midst of his financial challenges, he seems blind to the operational disaster he is overseeing.

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
Terrence from Staten Island, NY

The caller from Far Rockaway needs to stop complaining. Every time the MTA needs to raise revenue they pass it off on Staten Island and jack up the toll on the Verrazano. The rest of the burroughs need to start carrying their weight, there should be tolls over all of the bridges: maintaining them costs money.

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I mostly take the subway, & I'm not used to riding buses. I usually carry a backup Metrocard for when the 1st one runs lower than a full fare. Recently I took a bus & used the wrong card; the card reader took the amount left on the card & I had to pay the rest in cash. I told the driver I'd meant the card w/a full fare on it & he offered me a transfer, but I needed to switch to the subway, & a bus transfer won't work for that, so I had to pay an extra fare. When the system requires you to go to a subway station to even find out how much you have left on a card, you shouldn't lose a fare this way. Isn't there a way to either let riders check our cards w/out going to a subway station or not lose whatever's on a card that doesn't have a full fare on it? Or give us bus transfers that work on the subway?

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
Sue from Bronx

On a different subject from my previous comment, I had an EZ Pass, little used but useful, and gave it up when they instituted a $1.00 monthly fee for having the EZ Pass.

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
Brian from Hoboken

Absolutely jack up the cash tolls! I can't believe that in the year 2010 people in NY NJ and CT still don't have EZPass. And to the commented who says people can't afford it, I don't believe thee are many people who can't afford $20 on ther credit card for tolls.
Brian- can you ask the guest what happened after the NY Times article a couple years ago that exposed the outright fraud by union workers who claim injury whenrhey retire so that hey end up with enormous pension payouts. (besides arcane work rules, ridiculously young retirement ages, massive OT, etc).

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
Richard from Manhattan

Why is that when you see work on the subways going on, most of the workers are just standing around and talking, gwaking, or just doing nothing! I bet you could save some money by making those workers more productive!

Oct. 05 2010 10:30 AM
akuna

this is take or leave and i think we don't have the choice but take it!! so painful to see the biggest public transportation keep increasing the fare. MTA stands for money thrown away somebody has to take a look into the accounting book. MTA is the face of capitalism again, the process of dehumanization continues. Why we don't look into the overtime sheet of these workers god for nothing. There is also a lack of communication, the growing elimination of token booths and buses. How somebody making for example $300 a week and single parent paying rent can afford to live like that. The chairman should try to work for $300 a week and feel the struggle that people have been going through.. We have to bear in mind that capitalism is the rational pursuit of profit. MTA and albany are are adept of such practice. That executive does not even ride the train. These people fail to understand that there is a working poor class in new york living pay check after paycheck, the days ahead of us will be very though.

Oct. 05 2010 10:29 AM

who should pay for a bridge i never use?

Oct. 05 2010 10:29 AM
Anon from Manhattan

The MTA is a disaster! By how much did Jay reduce his own salary??

Oct. 05 2010 10:28 AM
dm

@Jerry Mulnick from Staten Island
Just remember, every time you vote for automation (ez pass, self-checkout, etc.) you are voting to take away someone's job. A job that doesn't require a college education, but that keeps someone off the welfare rolls.
So, would you rather pay less for transportation or sundry goods and more in taxes to support the unemployed?

Oct. 05 2010 10:28 AM
jm

It's true that Walder inherited this mess, and he seems sincere in his intentions. That said, is the commuter tax out of the picture completely? What about the bridge tolls on a limited basis?

What about offering other options, say a 3 day unlimited card? Is there a way to differentiate between locals and out-of-towners? Tourists used to be responsible for more per-ride fares, but now it seems that low-income people are cutting into these totals. Tourists can definitely spend more on transportation (honestly, do you ever let a higher fare stop you when you're visiting another city?), while locals are hurting.

Oct. 05 2010 10:28 AM
Sonne Hernandez

you have worked hard over the year to cover your mistakes not to help us.

Oct. 05 2010 10:27 AM
Mary Faith Chmiel from New Jersey

I just head that the MTA will be installing wireless networks on subway platforms. REALLY? How much does this cost and how does that make sense when bus routes are being eliminated?

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Celia from Manhattan

Someone's idea of a boycott is really good. We could use bicycles, organize car pools, & start private, shared taxi-van services, some of which exist already, to supplement inadequate service in some boroughs.

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Anon from Manhattan

The MTA is a disaster! By how much did Jay reduce his own salary??

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Seth R Ullian from Bayside, Queens

I live in Queens, I work in the Bronx, I pay $10 /day to commute. Why shouldn't there be East river tolls?

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Victoria from New York City

You should be able to make Access A Ride reservations online. It takes FIFTEEN TO TWENTY minutes to make a reservation. This does not include my waiting time for an available reservationist. They ask you to repeat the same information such as your home address, including the cross streets, etc. in each and every phone call. The building did not move.

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Charge Fare for Kids

I have a partial solution to increasing the MTA's income problem: charge fares for young children (not infants).

We've all seen parents entering the subway right behind their well-grown kids who duck under the turnstile. I don't see why this is permitted. Movie theaters charge reduced rates for kids; the MTA can do it too.

If a kid is old enough to occupy his/her own seat on the train, their parents should be paying their fare.

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
Sally

Is having the bridges, roads and subways all on one budget actually cost-effective? Or profitable? Or burdensome?

Oct. 05 2010 10:26 AM
ismael from east village

Mr W. speaks to improvements to the system at the same time as service is being cut, the gentleman from Carroll G B71. Improvements cost money so does service. Where should be spent?

Oct. 05 2010 10:25 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

When the L train is out of service they run a shuttle bus - on Saturday 8 overfilled busses passed me by before I was able to get on one - I've lived here for 5 years and this continually happens - how can they NOT know the ridership and how many busses are needed at this point? A private biz run this way would be shuttered in a week. At the Lorimer stop I've seen near riots as people cram onto busses - why does it NEVER improve??? Stop with silly countdown clocks and get more busses!!!!!!!!

Oct. 05 2010 10:25 AM
whoindatgarden from MTA heaven

If you get over priced consultants to tell you how to cut costs , then you are a very poor management team.
I would rather fire everyone on the Management team and the board.
All these kinds of things slowly but steadily are going to lead to a revolution which will throw out the bourgeois in so many sectors of our society. Is there a tea party kind of movement that will shut down the MTA and get their shenanigans stopped.
The MTA needs a thug like Palladino to come into office as Governor and throw the entire management out.

Oct. 05 2010 10:25 AM
Rob from Brooklyn

Bragging about countdown clocks just sounds pathetic. It points to a basic problem with the MTA - it is (many) decades behind in technology. In some cases there is simply no technology whatsoever where its clearly needed.

Oct. 05 2010 10:25 AM
Darcy from New York City, NY

I wonder how the costs saved from taking out representatives at the token booths compare to the higher percentages of people jumping the booths and not paying fairs.

Oct. 05 2010 10:25 AM
Lloyd Z. from Manhattan

Please, Mr. Walder, no cell phones on the subway. We already have to suffer through iPod headphones that are way too loud, recalling the days of boomboxes. I can only imagine how obnoxious it will be to have to endure listening to cell phone conversations.
This is not a matter of personal safety. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing.
And let's revive the 5-year capital plan, eliminated by George Pataki. The conditions of the stations is really an embarrassment for what is supposed to be a world-class city.

Oct. 05 2010 10:24 AM
J

I have a partial solution to increasing the MTA's income problem: charge fares for young children (not infants).

We've all seen parents entering the subway right behind their well-grown kids who duck under the turnstile. I don't see why this is permitted. Movie theaters charge reduced rates for kids; the MTA can do it too.

If a kid is old enough to occupy his/her own seat on the train, their parents should be paying their fare.

Oct. 05 2010 10:23 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

I'm not hearing anything about cost cutting measures. We hear of the high overtime costs for instance. Have the MTA books been opened up to the State and City Comptroller to examine the books?

The service is getting worse every day as the MTA asks for more and gives less.

Oct. 05 2010 10:23 AM
Beatrice from Brooklyn

I would much prefer lower fares to countdown clocks. I feel like all they do is alert muggers to how long their victims will be alone on the platform.

Oct. 05 2010 10:22 AM
Jerry Mulnick from Staten Island

This is the 21st century. No more cash tolls.Raise the cash tolls at tunnels & bridges and not the EZ Pass tolls. Those who continue to pay with cash are part of the problem by slowing down traffic and requiring salaried toll-takers.

Oct. 05 2010 10:22 AM
Karen from New York

Those who pay cash should not be penalized! That is unfair to people who can not afford the pre-pay needed to use Easy Pass. Easy Pay users get a discount now and move faster through the toll barrier. Those who pay cash are already penalized due to the limited access to toll booths and time it takes to get through the toll barrier.

Oct. 05 2010 10:22 AM
Sue from Bronx

Why do they keep changing the MTA website, and for the worse? It is not just that one gets used to something, but that it becomes impossible to find other items. I have been looking for the express buses, and where are they now? They had a line under NYC transit, now no matter how many times you go to buses, they are not to be found. Other searches have become more difficult as well. Every page is busier, which seems to be happening to all websites that get "changed" and "Updated."

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
daphne

So, is paying for Mr. Walder's luxury apartment a way that the MTA is using its available (yet apparently very limited) funds wisely?

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
Hank from BKLYN

Whatever happened to that whole double set of books fiasco from about 8 years ago.

seemed like a big story / cover up that just kinda disappeared...

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
aaron from harlem

changing the monthly metro card from $89 to $104 is not a change of 7.5% - it is a %16 percent change, and the people it will most effect is those like me who are low income and rely heavily on the MTA to get around the city. The 7.5% increase should have been spread evenly -

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I have friends in Manhattan who have relatives in Westchester, so they drive there fairly often but not often enough to justify the cost of an E-ZPass. This means they're always stuck in backed-up cash toll lanes. Is there any recourse for them?

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
Teresita Castillo from Queens

What about new rate on monthly pass?
You did not mention LIMIT on # of rides
allowed on this new monthly pass.
What is the LIMIT now put on the
monthly pass and this is more expense
for the person buying monthly pass as
they have removed "unlimited" as it
has been and this is going to be
more costly. This is not right.

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
SJB

How can the mta justify spending money on all those signs showing when the next train is coming? They do me almost no good once I'm already on the track. And I don't want cell or wifi

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
aaron from harlem

changing the monthly metro card from $89 to $104 is not a change of 7.5% - it is a %16 percent change, and the people it will most effect is those like me who are low income and rely heavily on the MTA to get around the city. The 7.5% increase should have been spread evenly -

Oct. 05 2010 10:21 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

I'm not hearing anything about cost cutting measures. We hear of the high overtime costs for instance. Have the MTA books been opened up to the State and City Comptroller to examine the books?

The service is getting worse every day as the MTA asks for more and gives less.

Oct. 05 2010 10:20 AM
david Williams from brooklyn

question for Mr. Walter:

when i see workers doing track or station work, i typically see about 60% of them actually working. Is there any way to out pressure on the union or encourage them to make the worker groups less top heavy?

Oct. 05 2010 10:20 AM
Celia from Manhattan

Question:

Will transit fare also go up to $104?

Like many people, I am employed part-time & have a small business as well. This means that I now have to pay a transit tax! I was hoping to offset this new tax with the savings on transit fare!

I am mystified about the MTA's constant need for more money. What about the uncovering, some years ago, of their misappropriation of funds, their corruption, and inefficiency? Wouldn't it make more sense to have them thoroughly investigated and overhauled?

Oct. 05 2010 10:20 AM
Jeremy from Brooklyn

I'm interested to know whether maintenance and upgrades are a different fund than general running of the subways and buses. If not, can some of the unnecessary upgrades be put on hold?

For example, the whole platform at the 9th Avenue station is being rebuilt, when it really wasn't in that bad of shape. Whereas the roof of the whole platform leaks and will continue to erode any newly constructed platform.

Oct. 05 2010 10:20 AM
tom from manhattan

why can't more be done about the noise and debris from 2nd Ave. Subway project’s conveyor machine at 93 St. & 2 Ave and the air vent in the next block? has any sound expert been called in for this?

Oct. 05 2010 10:19 AM
carter from EV

Why not just make the base fair $5.00 for subways and buses and make all mta tolls $20.00. This way, you can continue to make poor choices and purchase sub-par, overpriced junk equipment knowing you can increase the fairs as you continue to spend like drunken sailors or the worst equipment.

Oct. 05 2010 10:19 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

I'm not hearing anything about cost cutting measures. We hear of the high overtime costs for instance. Have the MTA books been opened up to the State and City Comptroller to examine the books?

The service is getting worse every day as the MTA asks for more and gives less.

Oct. 05 2010 10:19 AM
Sam

Ask Mr. Walder,

Why can't he or their employee accept pay cut. He knows better that employment is high, people are getting laid off and companies are cutting pay checks so that they don't have to lay off people. It's a very tough on people. Can he live a life like the ones who are unemployed and traveling here and there to look for jobs?

Oct. 05 2010 10:19 AM
Jess from Mnhattan via Ohio

I've always wondered which divisions of the MTA are the most and least profitable. It seems as though that doesn't factor into the price hikes, which seems happen uniformally. It makes sense that if something is costs more to operate, it should cost more to ride. Are there numbers for this?

Oct. 05 2010 10:19 AM

How about thinking of a way to get the monthly pass to more people, perhaps through employers? People who use the system the most, are in fact dependent upon mass transit, deserve larger discounts. This is just a ploy to get more people to pay per ride, as those discounts are also reduced (20%, 15%, 10%...) as one needs to to take an ever greater number of rides to see any savings. Only the tourists come out ahead.

Oct. 05 2010 10:18 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

Why all the service upgrades??? It's not Limo Service; it's mass transit. Why not make it lean and mean without all the service luxuries, and keep the fare low????

Oct. 05 2010 10:18 AM

And there was an interesing Op Ed in the NY Times recently about how eliminating public transportation routes and replacing with private companies is a bad precedent and bad public policy.

Oct. 05 2010 10:18 AM
R. Girsberger from Warwick, NY

Please don't raise the bridge tolls for non-EZ Pass users.
I drive into the city only 2 or 3 times a month for business and I will be punished with this new policy.
Yes, encourage EZ Pass, but don't penalize the rest of us for whom it is not practical.

Oct. 05 2010 10:18 AM
daphne

Just remember, every time you vote for automation (ez pass, self-checkout, etc.) you are voting to take away someone's job. A job that doesn't require a college education, but that keeps someone off the welfare rolls.
So, would you rather pay less for transportation or sundry goods and more in taxes to support the unemployed?

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
Sonne Hernandez from Chinatown

I'd like to ask your guest who and where do these statistics come from? HIS office? I am still so angry that MTA decided to take a gamble on the stock market in regards to mortgages and now of course in the middle of the WORST time to raise the price AND take away services...there is only so much you can burden the people with YOUR mistakes..because guess what? Everyone else is trying to squeeze us too because of mistakes THEY MADE ALSO.

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
Sophia from Broad Channel

I live in the ROCKAWAYS; we have some of the worst public transit options, yet car usage is being attacked (pedestrian malls all over, no parking on lots of streets) yet, there are transit cuts and no good options for midtown commutting for those of us in the Rockaways.

--Sophia

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
JM

Don't raise Easy Pass toll.

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

I'm not hearing anything about cost cutting measures. We hear of the high overtime costs for instance. Have the MTA books been opened up to the State and City Comptroller to examine the books?

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
Sheldon from brooklyn

Well said Susan, the MTA is just a front. If people have problems with their transit fares and service they should blame politicians that underfund the system.

Oct. 05 2010 10:17 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

The MTA’s giveaways to the proposed Atlantic Yards Forest City Ratner mega-monopoly are probably the most prominent example of why the MTA is was having to vote to implement these cutbacks. In total Atlantic Yards is looking to soak up $2 to 3 billion in public subsidies and at the outset is getting a lot of that public subsidiy without bid from the MTA.

See:
Friday, December 18, 2009
Big Picture Questions: Does MTA Chairman Jay Walder Comprehend Atlantic Yards Link to MTA Cutbacks?

http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2009/12/big-picture-questions-does-mta-chairman.html


Michael D. D. White
Noticing New York
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/

Oct. 05 2010 10:16 AM
George Deane

I am a taxi driver and I give the MTA between 8-12 dollars every shift. You mentioned nothing about this revenue source. Does this not have a significant impacy on your revenue?

Oct. 05 2010 10:16 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

Ques: How much of the budget comes from the Port Authority? (and how much has been cut - esp. relevant given the 3 billion spent on freedom tower)

Comment: people use cash, because they don't have credit cards or bank accounts... But the machines often can't take cash, forcing us to miss trains

Ques: people like unlimited cards - but people's home budgets have shrunk, so i suspect people are now buying by-the-ride more

Comment: I missed a lot of work this summer - as i have some physical limit issues - and both the buses i use to get to work were cancelled.

Oct. 05 2010 10:16 AM
Paul from Brooklyn, New York

Mr. Chairman,

It's clear that the MTA needs additional revenue to continue providing the same level of service, but why is raising fares the means to achieving that end? How do you determine the value of a month of mass-transit use, are the proposed fares an accurate reflection of how much a month of mass-transit use is actually worth?

Oct. 05 2010 10:15 AM
jessica palazzo from battery park city

I have no problem with slightly higher fares, but the cuts in service seem steep. I often ride the subway with a stroller and at times have had to push through the emergency exit and set of that horrendous alarm because there isn't a clerk in the booth. In one instance the booth was ripped out!

Oct. 05 2010 10:15 AM
Rob from Brooklyn

Its hard to accept fare increases when there are clear abuses at the MTA. Just one example - from what I understand the MTA sold Atlantic Yards for millions of dollars less than a competing offer, because of political pressure.

I feel bad for Mr. Walder, because he inherited this mess. Is he doing anything to institute a more professional style of management at the MTA in addition to raising fares?

Oct. 05 2010 10:14 AM

Bring back the commuter tax! Raise tolls and put them on other bridges. And thank Sheldon Silver for blocking Bloomberg's efforts to apply for Federal funding when it was available in 2008 or so.

Oct. 05 2010 10:14 AM
josh from brooklyn

This man is holding the people of nyc hostage, and he knows it.
The fares go up but peoples pay is staying the same or dropping (or losing their jobs).

You could almost hear his guilty self-conscienceness come out when he said the monthly was going over a hundred dollars.

Just more more nail being put into killing nyc.

Oct. 05 2010 10:14 AM
sa cha from Manhattan

Mr. Walder is just bad news since he joined MTA.

Oct. 05 2010 10:14 AM
ml from Manhattan

At a time when it's necessary for people to get out of their cars, it's really counterproductive to increase fares. NYC commuters only get sticks and no carrots. The fares should not be increased, they should be lowered.

Oct. 05 2010 10:14 AM
Jennifer from Flushing

Are you kidding me $104! So, over the past few years this adds up to a $25+ increase. I am the only earner in my family right now and commuting from NE Queens to lower Manhattan, so I purchase both a monthly LIRR (which will laso be increasing) and metro card. So, now I'm paying over $300 per month to get to work!

Oct. 05 2010 10:13 AM
Jess from Mnhattan via Ohio

I've always wondered which divisions of the MTA are the most and least profitable. It seems as though that doesn't factor into the price hikes, which seems happen uniformally. It makes sense that if something is costs more to operate, it should cost more to ride. Are there numbers for this?

Oct. 05 2010 10:12 AM

The instinct is to just rant about the perceived corruption and inefficiency of the MTA. But the problem is much larger -- the lack of support for public transportation from the State and Federal government. So yes, complain about taxes and out of control spending but the bottom line is you have to pay for transportation and other services somehow. So that leaves fares. I just wish my salary would go up 10% at the same time.

Oct. 05 2010 10:12 AM
Sheldon from brooklyn

What does Jay think about the transit strike in London this week and does he think it can happen here again?

Oct. 05 2010 10:11 AM
Baba from Brooklyn

If the people of NYC have a spine and are willing to boycott the MTA we shall see them change their ways.
The MTA is given the lease to run the subway system, it is owned by us the people and MTA is doing a bad job of running it. So is there a critical mass that is willing to boycott the services. But I doubt that will happen as people here have too much to loose as of now so they can't boycott.

Oct. 05 2010 10:10 AM
Paul L. Johnson from Manhattan

Will Mr. Walder consider reducing executive salaries by the same percentage as reductions in service and/or increase in fares? The rationale that fares must increase means a reduction in finances for all the rest of us. Are the executives at MTA willing to make a similar sacrifice?

Oct. 05 2010 10:10 AM
Theodore Bryant from Brooklyn

If MTA have any plans to hire laid-off workers.
As my wife was among one of the people who got laid-off. And why in such a large organization they failed to adjust employees to other job titles.
Thank You.
(Love Your Show)

Oct. 05 2010 10:07 AM
Stuart from Manhattan

Please ask Chairman Walder whether any of the fare increase will go towards improvements in customer service. On August 5, I waited on a hot platform for 15 minutes during the height of the afternoon rush for a train that was supposed to come every 2-3 minutes. There were no announcements. I made 2 phone calls to customer service, who could provide no explanation. After a week of no repsonse, I followed up with a letter addressed to Chairman Walder expressing my concerns. After 6 more weeks of no repsonse, I followed up by phone, and no one could find a record of either of my phone calls, or my letter. At this time, I don't want an explanation of why the train didn't arrive on time. What I need to know is this - how do complaints get recorded, how is it possible that three complaints remain unaswered and have disappeared into the black hole of MTA bureaucracy, and what is the Chairman going to do about it?

Oct. 05 2010 09:44 AM

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