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MTA mulls fare hikes & hold on station and service upgrades


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MTA mulls fare hikes & hold on station and service upgrades



June 24rd 2008



Bales for News

Get used to crumbling subway stations, such as the Smith - 9th Street stop on

the (G) and (F) lines in Brooklyn (above).



Straphangers will have to endure crumbling train stations longer, live without bus and subway service increases and maybe pay higher fares, top transit officials warned Monday.


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a torrent of bad news as the tanking economy - with declining tax revenues and rising operating costs - continue to inflate budget gaps.


CEO Elliot Sander and MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger unveiled a draft amendment to the authority's capital plan that includes delaying overhauls of 19 subway stations to after January 2010.


Citing higher construction costs and a need for more money for new projects to address problems like subway flooding, the revised planning would postpone $2.7 billion in upgrades beyond next year. They will be penciled into the next five-year plan, which is largely unfunded, officials conceded.


Transit officials said the MTA can afford just a fraction of planned increases to bus and subway service, including new bus routes and expanded hours of operation.


Tax revenues are $120 million below projection, leaving a ballooning 2009 deficit potentially greater than $500 million, Sander said, raising the possibility of fares and toll hikes as early next year.


"Should riders be concerned? Absolutely. Am I concerned? Absolutely," he said.


NYC Transit President Howard Roberts said he would salvage some planned increases in subway service by trimming some transit positions.


Roberts also was subject to some tough grilling and criticism by two of Mayor Bloomberg's representatives on the MTA board.


Mayoral rep Jeff Kay expressed "great concerns" that the MTA couldn't afford even the more modest service increases and is putting riders on a roller coaster of expectations."This is a great example of us, frankly, playing rope-a-dope with the public. It's in, it's not in, it's in," Kay said.


Mark Lebow, another Bloomberg board member, griped about the continued rise in subway train delays and other "alarming" statistics. More than 15,000 trains were delayed in April - compared with 6,542 in April 2006, MTA statistics show.


Lebow said such statistics suggest the causes were "merely by senior staff lack of supervision of what goes on underground."


Roberts said his agency is working hard to reduce delays and said a lack of managerial talent is not an issue.


Despite all the doom and gloom, Sander said fare and toll hikes were not absolutely inevitable. He said he hopes the state Legislature will adopt funding solutions due in November.

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What is interesting for me is that and don't get me wrong I believe the service improvements should go in effect so that My pick goes in effect because if its cancalled we stuck in our current jobs. However with the new service Improvements they not only added more jobs but Added ovetime. So now all the jobs on the (M) PM's out of Met T/O's and C/R's will be paid an Extra 1 Hr 30 Minutes for added service to Broad St. Thats 10 CRews. The (B)(W) crews also got jobs raised from 8 Hours to 9 Hours. Now since they over 8 Hours to 9HRS the crews will finish the minute they do at the Terminal so any delays like holding doors will result in even more overtime. If (MTA) is really broke how can they afford to add jobs and add lots of Overtime ? If they are really broke and they do this the (MTA) will really be in the hole for 2009 which is just in time for Contract time between TWU and (MTA). I believe it comes up in Jan or March forgot the exact date. Also cleaner trains plays a big role in on time performance. Some may be wondering what I am talking about. Ok cutting cleaning staff you will see add delays and why??? If you have a dirty car and debris goes into a doorway while the doors are open it could stop the door from closing causing the C/R to check out a possable door problem. I have seen a newspaper hanging up a door and yes everyone in the car is looking at and and does nothing about it and wonder why the C/R is looking at the door. More trash on the platfrom ends up on the tracks causing a Track Fire and you know what Its already on the raise that without and known cuts.

I don't know what the answer is but we not going in the right direction.

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