On the MTA’s Recent Announcement
Where Have Things Gone Wrong?
Our fare hike of late, will not actually come with immediate improvements, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority informed us yesterday. The finances of the organization have suffered from the recent drop in real estate tax revenues.
New Service Postponed.
Higher Rates in Effect.
While I may not be a transportation expert-neither is the chair of the MTA board– I would like to think it would be in the best interest of the MTA-and us riders-that the budget not be based on such volatile revenues. And if that is just a pipedream, didn’t they know the tax revenues would be lower than expected since the mortgage crisis has been in full swing for quite a few months? Wouldn’t the right thing to say at that point be, “We are postponing the new service improvements, so we are postponing the fare hike for now as well.”
I was not opposed to a fare hike because I think that we are the unfortunate inheritors of ages of neglect towards public transportation in this city. And while I do think it is a gross injustice that New York transit riders pay a higher share of their ride than other mass transit riders in the nation and world, these are the cards we have been dealt. But the continual sentiment of paying more for less gets old real fast. And it seems like reasonable people-like me of course-who understand the need for hikes IF there are improvements will lose that fragile trust.
Things need to change here. I would start by putting someone in charge who is a transit person, not a real estate person. And while the chair of the board is more symbolic than active, that would send the right message, a more appropriate symbol for what the MTA should stand for.