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Trainspotter

MTA pushing for 23% fare hike to cover 2009 budget shortfall

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Next stop, Doomsday.

 

The MTA board officially started the clock on a package of double-digit fare hikes, severe service cuts and layoffs Thursday, releasing a 2009 budget full of pain for 8.5 million daily bus, subway and commuter train riders.

 

RELATED: HIGHLIGHTS OF MTA CUTS

As exclusively reported in the Daily News over the past two weeks, service cuts spelling longer waits for more crowded trains and buses - and fewer token booth clerks and customer service agents in stations - will begin in the spring, officials said.

 

Fare hikes would hit in June, followed quickly by higher bridge and tunnel tolls, officials said, confirming Daily News reports.

 

"They are very severe, very harsh," Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Elliot Sander said.

 

MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger urged Gov. Paterson and the state Legislature to adopt a bailout package that could avert or scale back the draconian measures.

 

The "drop-dead" date for action is March, Sander said.

 

Board member Norman Seabrook called for a 30% additional "sin tax" on cigarettes and alcohol to raise cash.

 

"I'm a smoker, and I don't want to pay more, but at the end of the day I'd rather pay more for a pack of cigarettes than ... have individuals possibly lose their jobs, and have service cuts go into effect."

 

The MTA has yet to detail higher prices on fares to help plug a $1.2 billion gap. The goal, as The News has reported, is to increase fare and toll revenues by $670 million - 23%.

 

Straphangers would then pay 83% of the cost to operate the system, and local bus riders would pay 48%. The national average is 37%. Metro-North Railroad riders would pay 61%, while Long Island Rail Road passengers would pay 51%.

 

More recently, the MTA's revenues from transit-dedicated taxes on such things as property sales and corporate profits have plummeted.

 

"Not only are we looking at a whopping fare increase but a greatly increased burden on riders," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said. "We're bailing out the corporations and property owners with riders' money."

 

Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint urged the MTA to cut more administrative positions. He also pointed a finger of blame at City Hall for not fully reimbursing the MTA for student MetroCards and the authority's door-to-door service for the disabled.

 

The plan includes eliminating approximately 3,200 MTA-wide positions through attrition and layoffs, resulting in about $300 million in savings next year. The next step is a board vote next month, followed by hearings in January.

 

Based on past fare hikes and revenue projections, the bus-subway fare can be expected to increase from $2 to between $2.50 and $3. Weekly and monthly MetroCards could rise 5% to 10%.

 

A weekly unlimited-ride card now now costs $25, a monthly $81. Long Island and Metro-North commuter passes and single-ride tickets would likely rise, on average, 23% or so.

 

Fares and tolls have risen three times since 2003, most recently in March.

 

"We cannot take any more," said David Russell, 41, a data analyst from Brooklyn who works in Westchester. "Something's got to give, 'cause we have given enough already. What am I supposed to do, walk?"

 

 

 

Here are some of the highlights of the MTA's proposed 2009 budget cuts:

 

  • Shorten the (G) line so it ends at Court Square at all times - it currently runs to 71st Ave./Forest Hills on evenings, nights and weekends.
  • Increase weekend intervals from eight to 10 minutes on the (A)(D)(E)(F)(G)(J)(M)(N)(Q) and (R) lines.
  • Increase intervals from 20 to 30 minutes on all trains running between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Eliminate the (W) train. The (Q) would be extended from midtown to Astoria, and the N would run local north of Canal St. to replace the W.
  • Eliminate the (Z) train and shorten (M) rush-hour service to Broad St. in Manhattan - it now runs to Brooklyn's Bay Parkway.
  • Eliminate the B23, B37, B39, Bx14, Bx34, M6, M8, M18, M27, Q84, QM22, QM23, BxM7B, X25, and X32 bus routes.
  • Discontinue weekend service on the B2, B4, B7, B16, B24, B48, B57, B65, B69, B71, B75, Bx8 (Sunday only), Bx18, Bx20, Bx33, M21, M22, M50, Q14, Q31, Q76, Q79, S42, S54, S57, S60, S76, X27 and X28 bus routes.
  • Discontinue weekday service on the B25, B51, B75, Bx4, Bx20, M10, M30, Q26, Q56, Q74 and Q75 routes.
  • Discontinue overnight service on the B7, B14, B31, B45, B48, B57, B64, B65, B67, B77, Bx10, M1, M2, M16, M22, M23, M42, M50, M66, M79, M96, M102, M103, M104 and Q30 routes.
  • Increase express bus fares to $7.50 from $5.
  • Raise the Access-A-Ride fare to make it twice the subway base fare - from $2 to $4, based on current prices.
  • Eliminate the station customer assistants, who help riders outside toll booths. This would cut 596 positions.
  • Close 29 staffed booths in stations that have more than one full-time booth. Reduce staffing to part-time in 13 additional booths.
  • Impose tighter controls on E-ZPass account balances on (MTA) bridges and tunnels. That will result in more drivers turned away at toll gates and longer lines.
  • Eliminate rebates for Rockaway, Queens, residents who pay tolls at the Cross Bay Bridge.
  • Raise booze, soda and snack prices on Metro-North Rail Road to tie them to the consumer price index.
  • Cancel a program to allow Metro-North riders to buy tickets on board with credit and debit cards.
  • Eliminate the Metro-North toll-free customer information center.
  • Eliminate 11 Metro-North train car cleaning positions.

BY PETE DONOHUE

BY OREN YANIV

nydailynews_logo.gif

November 21st 2008

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Something not good is going to happen if this actually goes through, be it riots or people raiding (MTA) offices. I just hope no one tries to rob a train or some such.

 

- A

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'Your train has been taken, repeat, your train has to be taken'. 'We are holding 17 passengers and the conductor hostage in the first car, and are prepared to kill anyone if our demands aren't met'. 'Tell the mayor we demand $1,000,000.00 for the release of the passengers and train, right...'

 

You think Pelham 1 2 3 will happen for REAL? :eek::cool:

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Wtf man... $7.50 for an express bus? Give me a break...

 

If you're going to raise fares 25%, then leave everything else as is.

If you have to cut the (W), (Z), etc., then leave fares.

 

Don't raise fares AND take away things.

 

Sigh....

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If you are looking for riots or protests, it won't be over a $7.50 Express bus fare, or a $3 PPR Metrocard one, it will be the $4+ AAR hike. That's the most heartless aspect of this package.

 

I hope they don't raise the price on the unlimited cards.

 

They said they will. Just not in this package. The UNL MC hike proposal will certainly be put foward like this before these changes go into effect.

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Which of the service cuts do you agree with? Disagree?

Which route would you cut or consolidate?

 

Bronx:

 

Bx4 - Eliminated weekdays: NO (no connection between (2)(5)<5>(6)<6> trains in the Bronx)

Bx8 - Eliminated Sunday Service: Maybe

Bx10 - Eliminated overnights: NO

Should be consolidated with the Bx30

Bx14 - Eliminated: Okay

Bx20 - Eliminated: Okay, but increase service on Bx7/10

Bx33 - Eliminated weekend service: That area better served by Bx17/Bx32 replacing the Bx33. Read here.

Bx34 - Eliminated: Should be consolidated with Bx16.

 

Manhattan:

 

M1/M2 - Eliminate overnight Service: One of the buses should stay

M6 - Eliminated: Only if the M7 is extended.

M8 - Eliminated: Should run weekdays until 9 PM. Weekends until 8 PM

M10 - Eliminated: Sure

M16 - Eliminated overnights: Sure

M18 - Eliminated: Sure

M21 - Eliminated weekends: Sure

M22 - Eliminated weekend and overnight service: NO

M23 - Eliminated overnights: Sure

M27 - Eliminated: Should run weekdays until 9 PM. Weekends until 8 PM

M30 - Eliminated: Sure

M42 / M104 - Eliminated overnights: One of those buses should run.

M50 - Eliminated weekends: Should run until 11 PM everyday.

M66 - Eliminated overnights: Sure

M79 - Eliminated overnights: No

M96 - Eliminated overnights: ?

M101, M102, M103 - M101 runs to City Hall overnights

 

Express Buses to $7.50 - You gots to be kiddin' me! No more than $6.

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What I agree/disagree with:

 

Manhattan:

 

YES-M1/M2 - Eliminate overnight Service: One of the buses should stay

NO-M10 - Eliminated: Sure

NO-M23 - Eliminated overnights: Sure

YES-M30 - Eliminated: Sure

NO-M66 - Eliminated overnights: Sure

 

YES-Express Buses to $7.50 - You gots to be kiddin' me! No more than $6.

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Express buses for $7? Remind me ot stick to taking the ferry when I go to Staten Island.

 

*pats his wallet* Its ok, dollar bills. Those meanies won't try to get you anymore.

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They better not raise the price for the T.M.

I guess say bye bye 2 the R179

I guess say bye bye 2 the R188

R38's and R40Ms? What of those?

Will the SMEE trains stay around for longer?

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You must understand that the (MTA) is cash strapped and can't afford to run everything it has now. That said, (MTA), stop buying $1,250,000 per car R160s and fix up your older trains for now (see those redbirds sitting in the yard... yeah), you can scrap them and buy new toys when you aren't in hellish debt... yeah, I wish... ;)

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They better not raise the price for the T.M.

I guess say bye bye 2 the R179

I guess say bye bye 2 the R188

R38's and R40Ms? What of those?

Will the SMEE trains stay around for longer?

The (MTA) will raise the price.

R179:Noooo!:eek:

R188: Yessss! The best part is the R188 will no more be a future subway car and will never be built so this means that the R62/R62A get to stay and not reitre early,whoo!;) The good thing is the R62/R62A get to stay in service!:P

The remaining train maybe only R38/R40M/R42 only since the R32 and R40 slant are retiring.

Edited by Kexpress

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You must understand that the (MTA) is cash strapped and can't afford to run everything it has now. That said, (MTA), stop buying $1,250,000 per car R160s and fix up your older trains for now (see those redbirds sitting in the yard... yeah), you can scrap them and buy new toys when you aren't in hellish debt... yeah, I wish... ;)

 

We all know the (MTA) is strapped... but who's fault is it that they're strapped in the first place? It's pretty ridiculous to allow them to get into a mess and then expect us to bail them out.

 

Sounds pretty similar to that "economic stimulus" package passed by Congress a few months back.

 

Oh.. and yeah, they're not gonna bring the Redbirds back. No way.

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We all know the (MTA) is strapped... but who's fault is it that they're strapped in the first place? It's pretty ridiculous to allow them to get into a mess and then expect us to bail them out.

 

Sounds pretty similar to that "economic stimulus" package passed by Congress a few months back.

 

Oh.. and yeah, they're not gonna bring the Redbirds back. No way.

 

Redbirds are history so forget them.

Cash Strapped, probably.

Who created the mess ? (MTA)

How do you create a line managers program in the subways and appoint highly paid supervisors to oversee other highly paid supervisors when you don't have the $$$ to run the equipment you have ?. (MTA) accounting.

As for new subway cars (R188) or whatever, if you check some of my responses in these forums...I told you so.

Actually this is the most extreme doomsday scenario to get the public worked up. Yes fares and tolls will rise but some of the more drastic cuts will never see the light of day. Some of us employees and older posters have seen this trial balloon ploy being sent up for the last 25 years or more.

Also remember that it's contract time for the union workers come Jan. 15th so as usual spin this so it appears that the greedy union workers are the reason for the increases. Just like Detroit's trying to blame the workers for ruining GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

These people running the (MTA) couldn't run a Lionel train around a circular track without screwing things up so why trust their accounting? Maybe Mr. Cuomo should investigate the (MTA) while he's watching Wall Street.

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Slightly off-topic, Bee-Line could be also affected by MTA Fare Hike.

From Westchestergov.com News Press

 

SPANO CALLS ON CONGRESS TO HELP MASS TRANSIT IF THEY HELP AUTOMAKERS

County Executive says federal assistance may prevent need for fare increases that will hurt riders

Westchester County Executive Andy Spano today called on Congress to help mass transit as it works on a bailout of the country’s automakers

 

In a letter to Westchester’s Congressional delegation, Spano argued that thousands of Metro North and Bee-Line bus riders will be hurt by the 23 percent increase in fares proposed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. He added that the federal government could help the environment not only by holding automakers to higher manufacturing standards, but by keeping fares down to encourage the use of mass transit.

 

“We are all aware of the environmental benefits of mass transit and how much fuel and carbon emissions are offset by those who use it,’’ said Spano in the letter. “ It stands to reason that as Congress decides whether to bailout the auto industry, that it take a long and hard look to see what dollars can be identified to help mass transit and the millions who use it. If $25 billion can be found to ensure the auto industry is preserved and the assembly lines are kept running, then unquestionably the same effort can be applied to those who travel via our rails and buses.

 

MTA officials are scheduled to address the county’s Board of Legislators on Monday about the proposed fare increase and its impact on county riders. The county estimates more than 32 million people ride the Bee-Line each year. Another 81 million Westchester residents ride Metro North each year.

 

“It seems ironic that at a time when we are trying to encourage people to use mass transit that we continue to ask the riders to bear more cost and inconvenience,’’ said Spano. “Rather than find new ways to create incentives to choose mass transit, service cuts and fare increases only punish the very users who responsibly look to it as an alternative to the automobile.’’

 

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Express buses for $7? Remind me ot stick to taking the ferry when I go to Staten Island.

 

*pats his wallet* Its ok, dollar bills. Those meanies won't try to get you anymore.

 

 

I ride the express bus twice a week. If the fare rises to $7.50 then I'll only ride it once a week.

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You say that now because when you don't pay taxes. Just wait till you are working and paying taxes. I don't want my money to be used to bail out companies that weren't financially responsible.

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You say that now because when you don't pay taxes. Just wait till you are working and paying taxes. I don't want my money to be used to bail out companies that weren't financially responsible.

 

Yeah that's true...

I had a radical plan... That is, to open restrooms in a couple hundred stations throughout the system and charge the patrons for say 50 cents? That would generate some income. However, there are flaws in my proposal. lol First, the subway would have to pay for the water and maintenance required and Second, I don't think I would fish out a fee to use the toilet. Third, the TA would have to build new toilets in more stations in order for this to work. But who knows?

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