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Bailout is possible for MTA as early by Monday 3/9/09

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Here a late breaking NY Daily News article about the possiblity that a bailout for the MTA is close to a reality. The article does not go further on tolls on the East River Bridges though.

 

 

Bailout possible by Monday for MTA and may mean 1 head's better than 2 in charge

BY Glenn Blain and Pete Donohue

NY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

 

Saturday, March 7th 2009

 

 

 

State legislation designed to rescue straphangers from massive service cuts and fare hikes could emerge in Albany as soon as Monday, sources told the Daily News yesterday. This is after major progress in talks to bail out the fiscally challenged agency occured.

 

If approved by the state Assembly and Senate, the plan not only could put the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on firmer financial ground - but also under new leadership.

 

The rescue plan, which proponents hope is finalized over the weekend, merges the MTA's unsalaried, part-time chairman's position with the full-time chief executive officer's post.

 

And it's unclear who would get that powerful top job.

 

MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger already has a lucrative full-time position running his family's real estate conglomerate.

 

Transit advocates and some elected officials have praised current CEO Elliot Sander's running of the bus, subway and commuter train network.

 

But Gov. Paterson may bring in a fresh face to declare a new era for an authority still struggling - fairly or not - with a negative image solidified over decades.

 

A state commission formed by Paterson and headed by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch recommended tolls on the East River and Harlem River bridges, an employer-paid payroll tax and fare hikes averaging 8% to help plug MTA budget gaps. This plan has still remain a sticking point in talks opposed mainly by State Senate and Assembly Members in the city's outerboroughs. However no word yet on if any of the Ravitch proposals is part of the bailout.

 

If those gaps aren't plugged, Sander and Hemmerdinger have said the authority will have to raise fare and toll revenue by 23%, meaning a monthly MetroCard could cost as much as $103. The price is now $81.

 

Service cuts nicknamed infamously the 'doomesday budget' would include eliminating some bus and subway routes, running commuter train and subways less frequently and closing overnight a handful of subway stations in lower Manhattan on the (R) line.

 

The rescue legislation could incorporate a recommendation by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) that bridge tolls be equal to the cost of riding the subway, now $2, sources said.

 

On another funding front, sources said Paterson may propose raising the DMV's vehicle registration fees substantially to fund the multibillion-dollar highway and bridge program.

 

c)2009 NY Daily News, Inc. gblain@nydailynews.com

 

Any reactions?

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If this bailout is passed, that would mean service would remain at current levels & fare would not change?

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I believe so.

 

Wrong. If the bailout is passed, there will still be small fare hikes/service cuts.

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Not as big as what we would like to call Doomsday.

 

True.

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Great, so the (W)(Z) won't be on the chopping block, the (G)(M) and (N) services won't be reduced, and my B4 bus in Brooklyn will still run on Weekends, great news!

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If fares are raised after the economic stimulus bill was passed giving albanay all the $ they needed to stave off the crap proposed in the doomsday bill, people will throw a fit. They have the money, it was sent to the states for this reason. If fares are raised, you might just find me walking a lot more and not bothering to fan the subway anymore, because that's just greed.

 

- A

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I'll probably still railfan. Sorry, but I spent the ages of 17-21 in a state that had no trains. They relied on buses and the buses never synchronized schedules. So you'd be waiting like 2 hours for a bus transfer and god forbid if you had to travel south or north. That was like 8 hrs lost just because of layovers and the buses would go through every 2 block town. So coming back here I'm just thankful that I don't have to go through that. Considering where the subway system goes, I still think its good deal. Mind you I don't like the fares raised on me but I have to look back and say I had to live in a place that had very little mass transit at all and owning a car at my age would probably be more expensive than what I pay for my metrocard weekly or even monthly. So I'm able to overlook it. Could be worst. The MTA could be proposing to have people pay by zone for the subway like LIRR/Metro North.

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The MTA could be proposing to have people pay by zone for the subway like LIRR/Metro North.

 

You know, the Atlanta MARTA system is trying to implement distance based fares as opposed to a flat fare. It still maintains a flat fare in Atlanta, but with BreezeCards, this could change. And if MARTA goes to distance based, other American systems would do something similar and eventually it will get here.

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Zone based rapid transit would be stupid. Imagine the lines trying to exit the stations.

 

- A

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Zone based rapid transit would be stupid. Imagine the lines trying to exit the stations.

 

- A

 

It's crazy, but that's the norm for Hong Kong, London, Seoul and Tokyo. And those systems carry LOADS of people. The Underground, the Seoul subway and the Tokyo system are very extensive as well.

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Zone based rapid transit would be stupid. Imagine the lines trying to exit the stations.

 

- A

 

Washington DC Metro and the San Franscisco/Oakland BART subway both have 'zone systems.' However they also go out to nearby suburian areas too besdes their major downtown/CBD centers.

 

 

I agree the NYC subway should keep the 1-fare approach' since the 5boros are still in the same city despite going about 40 miles if a rider went from 241st in the Bronx on the (2)line to the Far Rockaway terminal on the (A).

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Washington DC Metro and the San Franscisco/Oakland BART subway both have 'zone systems.' However they also go out to nearby suburian areas too besdes their major downtown/CBD centers.

 

 

I agree the NYC subway should keep the 1-fare approach' since the 5boros are still in the same city despite going about 40 miles if a rider went from 241st in the Bronx on the (2)line to the Far Rockaway terminal on the (A).

 

But don't forget, there are some people who abuse this flat rate system. :)

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Just got out of work. Any update on the possible 'bailout' of the MTA by Albany?

 

 

Here important update on the proposed MTA bailout for today 3/11/09. It does not look good.

 

Albany bickers as the Ravitch's MTA rescue plan twists in wind

 

BY Glenn Blain and Pete Donohue

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

 

Wednesday, March 11th 2009

 

 

 

Top Democrats tussled Tuesday over how quickly a pact, which could include tolling the city's free bridges, must be reached before the MTA pulls the trigger on its doomsday measures.

 

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith questioned the MTA's stated March 25 deadline.

 

But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) disagreed.

 

"I see it as a hard deadline," Silver said. "I don't want to test it. ... I'm not here to play chicken with anybody."

 

Albany sources said Gov. Paterson and other backers of the revenue-raising package, crafted by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch, are increasingly frustrated and concerned that time is running out for more than 8.5 million daily bus, subway and commuter train riders.

 

The plan also includes an employer-paid payroll tax and fare hikes averaging 8% to plug massive MTA budget gaps.

 

Without the infusion of state subsidies, the MTA said fares and toll revenues will have to skyrocket 23%, meaning a monthly MetroCard could hit $103 from $81.

 

Silver has said he has enough Democratic support in the Assembly to pass the rescue plan. Smith has a slim 32-30 majority, and several Democrats remain opposed to tolls, calling them a burden on commuters.

 

At the March 25 meeting, the MTA board is slated to adopt new fares and tolls.

 

The higher bus and subway fares would go into effect June 1. The phasing in of service cuts would start in May, officials have said.

 

The board must take action soon because officials need time to put the mechanisms for the changes into place, MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said.

 

c)2009 NY Daily News, Inc. pdonohue@nydailynews.com

 

any reactions?

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Typical Albany politics. Doesn't surprise me.

 

 

If this proposed bailout 'fails' and the doomesday cuts occur, IMO heads should roll in the next election and new fresh faces should occur.

 

Paterson, Smith, the current GOP Albany leader(forget his name)and Silver should all be voted out of office for failing to address other than Police and Fire, the most important funding issue in NYC.

Ditto for all of the state assembly and state senate too. I did not turn into Metsfan politically lol but this is a huge issue for all of downstate ny.

 

Too bad the idiots in Lower Manhattan always bring Silver back.:mad:

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