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Riders fume as MTA yet again wants to raise fares while service declines

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Riders fume as MTA yet again wants to raise fares while service declines

BY PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

July 22nd, 2008

 

alg_j-train.jpg

Cairo for News

The J and Z line is one of the most efficient lines in the city and trains run on-time nearly 99% of the time.

 

 

Here we go again.

 

The MTA Tuesday will propose another fare and toll hike - even as official data show subway service continuing to deteriorate.

 

The hike, affecting more than 8 million daily subway, bus and commuter railroad riders, would go into effect next July, an official briefed on the proposal said. If implemented, straphangers and drivers would be hit with the second increase in as many years.

 

Officials have not worked out specific changes to the various MetroCard options and prices.

 

It's widely expected the $2 base fare, which has remained stable for several years, would be targeted for a 25-cent rise.

 

"It's ridiculous," James Josie, 35, a laid-off security guard from the Bronx, said Monday as he waited for a subway train in Times Square. "Every year they seem to raise the fares."

 

Abraham Graves, 25, a college student working a summer job as a messenger, said he might have to move. "At the rate it's going, I won't be here next year," Graves said. "Everything goes up ... except the minimum wage."

 

The preliminary 2009 budget that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will unveil Tuesday would raise fare and toll revenues by $200 million, or 8%, the official said. The size of the proposed fare hike could be even higher if the MTA does not get increased annual state and city funding, including:

 

Full reimbursement by the state and city for student travel on subways and buses: $90 million.

Approximately $110 million in additional state tax disbursements.

The MTA also wants city, state and county governments to pay to use bridges and tunnels.

 

[float=right]asm_subway-graphic.gif[/float]The Daily News reported last month that hundreds of thousands of free trips - many by law enforcement agencies like the NYPD - are granted each month.

 

"It seems like they are asking for a lot of the right stuff," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said.

 

The MTA last year forecast a 2009 budget gap of $216 million. It has set a goal of trimming spending by 6% over four years. Rising fuel costs and declining revenues from some key taxes have combined to create an additional $700 million hole in the operating budget. The MTA also has sky-high debt payments on borrowing incurred in large part because of inadequate state funding during the Pataki administration, transit officials have said.

 

On another front, the MTA has proposed cutting its construction and maintenance by $2.7 billion.

 

"The chickens are coming home to roost," Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) said. "This is a problem so big it's going to force cooperation."

 

A panel appointed by Gov. Paterson late this year and headed by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch is to recommend funding solutions for the MTA. If the state and city governments act, there's the possibility that riders could get a reprieve. If not, more severe hikes and service cuts are possible.

 

Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman Stu Loeser said the city can't increase subsidies but is looking forward to the Ravitch panel's report.

 

NYC Transit reported Monday that subway on-time performance for the year ending in May was 92%, down from 93.6% in the previous 12-month period.

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I can't afford a rate hike. 2 dollars is the limit for me, anything more and riding the subway will become an expensive luxury. There is no way i'm paying $12.50 for 10 rides, or $25 for 20. Riding the subway in summer is tantamount to riding a moving jostling sweaty broiling oven. Fix the stations, get new lighting, fix the A/C, cool the stations worst hit, and then MAYBE i'd see a reason for raising fares in the short term.

 

- Andy

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The (J)(Z) are on time and the (4) is the line where you will most likely be late. That's strange. About the fare hike, fare hikes should equal more service and better construction progress.

 

Fare hikes have become a real pain in addition to everything going up lately. Gasoline prices have gone up, causing a raise in travel costs, food costs, rents, buying a house. I won't be surprised to see the subway and bus fares go up 50 cents. Yeah people will complain :) but they can't do much about it. Driving to work is a pain, and public transportation costs are going up so there's no way to avoid the rising prices, if there is any.

 

Guess this explains why people choose to move out of (N)(E)(W) York. B)

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A fare hike was long coming. Expenses are getting too much, but IMO, the MTA didn't manage their budgets correctly.

 

You know what would really put a dagger in the gap on the budget, selling the subway cars they're retiring as scrap metal.

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A fare hike was long coming. Expenses are getting too much, but IMO, the MTA didn't manage their budgets correctly.

 

You know what would really put a dagger in the gap on the budget, selling the subway cars they're retiring as scrap metal.

 

Now that's better than dumping the stainless steel cars (R32 R38 R40 and R42) in the Ocean. It will be good for the environment and I'm sure it would be a good sell.

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Now that's better than dumping the stainless steel cars (R32 R38 R40 and R42) in the Ocean. It will be good for the environment and I'm sure it would be a good sell.

 

Yes, RECYCLE! I am sure there are some railfans that'd like a sink made from the side of an R40, and a skylight made from a fire rated window. B) :)

 

- Andy

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To all complainers, stop riding the system, and take your monies and use an equally priced, or less expensive alternative to get to and fro work. If the fare goes up to $3, take that $3 and get a cab/livery to and fro work....

 

When you all are done, please tell me how much it actually cost you......

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Maybe the MTA should stop buying new buses and subway cars,they could save some money.

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Maybe the MTA should stop buying new buses and subway cars,they could save some money.

 

Yeah, then the old cars and buses are gonna get worse and worse, and then maintenance costs are going to go up, and you wind up spending more money than if you just bought the new cars.

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One day they're talking about skip stop to increase service and then this the next day lol, confusing MTA. However, the selling of old cars to be used as scrap metal is a really good idea, wonder why MTA hasn't thought of that..., yet i think the gap should be filled in by govt not us straphangers, but thats imo.

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One day they're talking about skip stop to increase service and then this the next day lol, confusing MTA. However, the selling of old cars to be used as scrap metal is a really good idea, wonder why MTA hasn't thought of that..., yet i think the gap should be filled in by govt not us straphangers, but thats imo.

 

Agree.

 

- Andy

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Agree.

 

- Andy

 

One day they're talking about skip stop to increase service and then this the next day lol, confusing MTA. However, the selling of old cars to be used as scrap metal is a really good idea, wonder why MTA hasn't thought of that..., yet i think the gap should be filled in by govt not us straphangers, but thats imo.

 

 

You mean the same Gov't who slashed the MTA budget by 59+ million????

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To all complainers, stop riding the system, and take your monies and use an equally priced, or less expensive alternative to get to and fro work. If the fare goes up to $3, take that $3 and get a cab/livery to and fro work....

 

When you all are done, please tell me how much it actually cost you......

 

They cant thats why and the MTA knows this...

 

I would like somebody to go and find a 24 hour 7 Day a week system anywhere in the country that can take you distance wise from 241st to Far Rockaway for 2 bucks..

 

Even if its $2.25 its still one of the best deals in the country...

 

BTW before i worked for tansit i rode the subways to work for years and went through Fare hikes so dont anybody go there..

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Maybe the MTA should stop buying new buses and subway cars,they could save some money.

 

Cound't agree more!! Those PBL buses could have still been running esp those GMC RTS now there just rotting away in a scrapyard. Not to mention the R32's R33ML/WF's R38's R40M's and R42's can run another 15 to 20 years!!

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Why am I not surprised?

 

Pay more, get less - that's how the MTA goes. As New Yorkers, we should all be more than used to it by now.

 

 

that should the MTA's new slogan

 

!!MTA!!

!!Pay more, get less!!

 

 

But on the said note we should stop complaining,this is a 24/7 transit System you know,let,s not go back to the 1970's were the transit System was in disrepair.if they hike it to 2.25 it could be the best deal like RTOMan.

 

 

But the MTA should start thinking smart about saving money like the other members said,but why did the mta bout out all the Private bus companys in the first place?.

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They cant thats why and the MTA knows this...

 

I would like somebody to go and find a 24 hour 7 Day a week system anywhere in the country that can take you distance wise from 241st to Far Rockaway for 2 bucks..

 

Even if its $2.25 its still one of the best deals in the country...

 

 

 

You know that's what us workers say, that is why I don't use the term "customers". Just about all have no cheaper alternative, so the MTA Monopoly Transportation Authority, is their only way to go. They are passengers, even though they pay as customers, they can't get a better deal around here, for an equal or cheaper price........

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but is it a 24/7 transit system?

 

Shouldn't matter. Late nights see huge service cuts vs daytime, and weekends are all most as bad, especially if they are doing work that reroutes trains or requires shuttle busses.

 

If LA charged more, ridership would fall off a cliff. I think (MTA) uses its "need this to have the city run" leverage to get fare increases. I think it needs to stay at 2 dollars. Just increase bridge & tunnel tolls, and perhaps add peak hour bus fares.

 

- Andy

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Shouldn't matter. Late nights see huge service cuts vs daytime, and weekends are all most as bad, especially if they are doing work that reroutes trains or requires shuttle busses.

 

If LA charged more, ridership would fall off a cliff. I think (MTA) uses its "need this to have the city run" leverage to get fare increases. I think it needs to stay at 2 dollars. Just increase bridge & tunnel tolls, and perhaps add peak hour bus fares.

 

- Andy

 

Or, like you said, congestion pricing...

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