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Trainspotter

Highlights of the MTA bailout plan

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Below are the highlights of the MTA bailout plan.

 

FARES and TOLLS

 

  • 2009 hikes capped at 8% for bus, subway and commuter train riders, and drivers using existing MTA crossings like the Queens Midtown Tunnel and Triborough Bridge.
  • Drivers using now-free East River crossings - the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges - would pay tolls.
  • Ownership and control of city-owned spans shifted to MTA.
  • All East River bridge and tunnel tolls would be equal to prevent traffic jams created by bargain-seeking drivers.
  • Motorists using now-free Harlem River bridges would pay lesser tolls - equal to the base subway-bus fare (now $2 but expected to rise to 2.50.)
  • No toll booths at East River and Harlem River crossings. Payment by E-Zpass or bills sent to drivers without E-ZPass; license plates captured by video for billing.
  • MTA authorized to raise fares and tolls without public hearings - but only every other year and set at the rate of inflation. More frequent or higher increases would require public hearings.

 

TOLL REVENUES

 

  • East River and Harlem River bridge tolls $1.1 billion - $600 million after expenses, including bridge maintenance costs.

 

TAXES

 

  • Employers in 12 counties, including the state agenciers and authorities like the MTA, pay a new Mobility Tax equal to one-third of one percent of wages ($330 per each $100,000 in payroll).
  • Annual revenues created: Mobility Tax - 1.5 billion a year for the MTA.

 

WHAT THE MONEY DOES

 

  • Funds raised by the Mobility Tax in the first year would go to MTA operating budget and make proposed 2009 service cuts unnecessary.
  • Proposed 2009 fare and toll hikes scaled back from 23 percent to 8 percent.
  • After first year, the Mobility Tax would fund the next MTA capital project that starts in 2010 and is expected to be in the 25 to 30 billion range, currently without funding.
  • Debt payments on new borrowing would no longer have to come from fares and tolls - a major source of current funding crisis. The Mobility tax also would cover debt costs for existing expansion projects like the Second Ave. subway.
  • Major expansion of bus service, including Bus Rapid Transit routes to speed bus trips with such things as curbside payment. Details to come in next MTA capital plan being drafted.
  • The city and counties now giving the MTA subsidies for bus service would no longer have to provide subsidies. For the city, that's a savings worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The City will also be free of costs to maintain East River and Harlem River bridges.

 

ORGANIZATION and MANAGEMENT

 

  • Newly appointed board members to have "relevant experience" in one or more key areas of expertise, including transportation and finance.
  • A new MTA division - the MTA Capital Finance Authority - would be created for Mobility Tax revenues to be placed in a 'lockbox' prohibiting its use for anything but capital projects after first year.
  • Positions of MTA chairman and Chief Operating Officer would merge. Position would have a fixed term giving greater independence from political interference.
  • Board members must vacate posts six months after term expires. No more multi-year holdovers.

 

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So, the (MTA) wants even out of state motorist to the City pay tolls? Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and Kings now is interlocked like Staten Island? That is total crapness and I feel the (MTA) shouldn't even put tolls on the East River Bridges. It is totally unacceptable to residents. Everyway, they want ground travel, they have to pay? What is next? Charge us to go to Long Island? Now, my car isn't useful...

 

Well people hate the old plan, and they hate the new plan. What are we suppose to do about it.

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I think highlight is the wrong word to use in a situation like this. I'm just so amazed how they can cut service and pull all of this nonsense. Why can't they just increase the fare and keep the current service. Some of these cuts are just unbelievable and will make some of these situations chaotic. I think they need to cut down on the number of people in their boards, I'm sure that would save a lot of cash. I doubt the population would protest since they need to go to work and make some money.

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I don't know how. But, this is just ridiculous unless all of the City and Long Island went on strike and protest, it may work. Since it will be 9 million people? Correct me if I am wrong on the population.

 

Around 18 million in NYC (i think), it would be a disaster if NYC and LI went on strike. :deadhorse:

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There are just so many things wrong with this plan.

 

1) Tolls at the proposed rates are just wrong. If they want to "equalize" the costs to cross the river, why not cut the cost at existing crossings and charge $2.50 or $3 at each one and not raise them $1 or $2 every other year like they've been doing?

 

2) Raising tolls and fares without public hearings? We need more accountability not less. At the rate of inflation? So a toll could now cost $5.64? Or will they just round everything up to the next dollar? What if inflation is negative in these recessionary times? Will fares and tolls decrease? Of course not.

 

3) Money for Bus Rapid Transit? We don't have BRT like in other cities because our right-of-ways are too narrow. The MTA is calling it Select Bus Service, because they don't want complaints that it's not rapid. And the routes they've chosen for the first phase leaves a lot to be desired.

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There are just so many things wrong with this plan.

3) Money for Bus Rapid Transit? We don't have BRT like in other cities because our right-of-ways are too narrow. The MTA is calling it Select Bus Service, because they don't want complaints that it's not rapid. And the routes they've chosen for the first phase leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Forget SBS.... because that is a load of BS.

Jeez, I rather the money be spent on fixing the infrastructure and invest in the current infrastructure such as the subway and the bus lines. Why build more SBS lines when the current one is not up to par with the "real" BRT systems? (Like Bogota or Curitiba)

Exactly, our roads are not meant for SBS... maybe First Avenue and Second Avenue in Manhattan, but given the constraints on Fordham Rd and the fact that the business core relies on Fordham Rd, the BX12 SBS is a poor example of efficient BRT service.

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