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Alternate MTA Bailout Plan May Be Back On Track


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Quoted from CBS 2 New York


NY Senate Dems Set To Unveil Alternative To Ravitch Plan


"It's an ongoing struggle: how to balance the needs of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, such as system maintenance and long term capital projects without putting too much financial pressure on its customers. MTA officials and lawmakers are at it again, trying to come up with a workable solution.


Passing up a possible cure for another temporary treatment. That's what's brewing in Albany as Senate Democrats get set to unveil their game plan to address the MTA's fiscal crisis and the growing commuter outrage over the rescue plan backed by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch.


The so called Ravitch rescue proposal calls for fare hikes, East River tolls and a payroll tax.


"The services are not getting better and the prices just keep going up," said commuter Susan Nashe.


The Senate plan - due out Tuesday - is being billed as a less expansive, short-term alternative, and most importantly, a product of slim legislative support in Albany for the Ravitch Plan's East River tolls component


Senate Democrats are now said to favor a smaller payroll tax, cutting the proposed fare increase from 8 percent down to 4 percent and wiping out East River tolls.


But there are concerns. Namely that the new plan, while less drastic, may not generate enough money to fill the MTA's staggering billion dollar budget gap, and by eliminating East River tolls, mass transit commuters, through fare hikes, would bear the brunt of the financial burden.


Governor David Paterson is getting involved in the debate. He's set to meet on Tuesday with transit advocates, which he'll follow with a news conference."


Okay I hope there are other things in this plan because if its just that, we are in trouble.

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Patterson flat out rejected the plan.


This would be a useless plan! Why would they even consider this as an alternative solution? It will create a bigger problem.


Its called 'politics 101' my friend. They (the government leaders)only care about 'now' and being relected. And long term problems can go to the next person that follows me.


I am not saying all of the public officals think that way but a majority do. Related to the MTA budget cris is this. if a State Senator or NYS Assembly Member 'votes' for tolls especially those serving in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that oppose it, they have a diffcult time being reelected.


Just being honest.:(

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MTA rescue plan may get sidetracked as Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says budget is priority

BY Glenn Blain



Friday, March 20th 2009





With just days to go before the MTA adopts its doomsday budget, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said his top priority was a new state budget - not a transit bailout.


"If we can get everything done, I am sure we will, but there's 19 million people that are concerned about that budget," Smith told reporters after meeting Thursday with Gov. Paterson and other legislative leaders.


The Queens Democrat said he wouldn't speculate on whether the Senate would act before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meets Wednesday to adopt its grim budget.


The state budget is due April 1.


Even as the deadline looms, Smith will head to Washington today with a national conference of state legislators to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden. They'll discuss the national economic crisis and the stimulus plan.


While he's in Washington, two Senate staff members will huddle with MTA officials, a Senate spokesman said.


Smith's comments came as Paterson launched a radio offensive accusing Senate Democrats of "hijacking" the effort to rescue the MTA and being unwilling or unable to make the tough decisions needed to save riders.


"This is just a classic example of Albany thinking it can make up its own rules," Paterson said on WOR's "The John Gambling Show," part of a three-station blitz.


Mayor Bloomberg also called for Senate Democrats to act quickly to avoid the fare hikes.


Paterson, Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) support former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch's plan to plug the agency's $1.2 billion budget gap with 8% fare hikes, tolls on the East and Harlem River bridges and a payroll tax on businesses in the MTA's 12-county region.


Senate Democrats balked at Ravitch's plan, saying the new tolls would hurt working-class residents.


They also questioned the MTA's credibility, arguing that the agency hasn't been forthcoming with its financial data.


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

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