Riders Hostages of MTA
Nov 26, 2008 | 8438 views | 0 0 comments | 103 103 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Once again, recession troubleshooters are taking aim at Brooklyn and Queens residents to pick up the tabs for years of bureaucracy at its finest.

The MTA’s proposed fare hikes and service cuts to the W, Z and G lines are infuriating and insulting.

No business but the MTA could get away with cutting service and raising rates.

The lines proposed to be cut are pipelines into the working class New York City neighborhoods of Astoria and Williamsburg, or what’s left of them, anyway, as priced out residents are fleeing the city by the day.

In addition to $5 for a round trip being an extremely hefty hike, the logistics of cutting service will be a nightmare both on the subway tracks as well as above them.

People with short or moderate commutes will realize that even with elevated gas rates, driving could prove more cost-effective than taking public transportation.

In addition to unpleasant and unmanageable congestion, making public transportation more costly is an ecologically hardheaded, backwards move.

Those who have no alternative means to get around will be packed tightly and dangerously on subways and buses and have the privilege of enjoying a VIP pass to all the aromas that come with public transportation - in 3-D!

How can the MTA’s budget gap have gotten so out of control that service cuts, layoffs and increased tolls and fares are the only way out?

Well, for starters, there are the behemoth executive salaries and wasteful real estate holdings. Also a stubborn refusal to allow oversight is a huge part of it.

This mismanaged organization is vital to the city, so unfortunately in many ways the beating citizens are about to take from the MTA is not unlike a hostage situation. We can’t very well eliminate the services the MTA provides.

Our only hope for this situation to be handled fairly and never repeated is for Governor David Paterson to play hardball with the wasteful folks at the MTA. The city and the state also need to do more to fund mass transit instead of leaving that up to the riders. It is, after all, a public service that should be funded primarily by tax dollars.

First and foremost, however, Paterson needs to demand accountability and implement oversight, lest in 2009 the train rides begin to feel more like train robberies.

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