Trainspotter 0 Posted October 30, 2007 Share #1 Posted October 30, 2007 New Yorkers taken for a ride with transit costs - report BY PETE DONOHUE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Tuesday, October 30th 2007, 4:00 AM Nobody's paying a bigger tab than you! MTA subway and bus riders pay a larger share of the cost of a ride than passengers in any other big city. Fares paid by NYC Transit subway riders, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's largest division, cover 68% of subway operating expenses, according to a Federal Transit Administration report. Bus passengers here pick up 42% of expenses, the report says. The burden carried by commuters is much less in places like Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, according to the federal agency. For example, the farebox recovery for subway riders in Boston and Chicago is 46% and 39%, respectively, and 21% and 34% for bus riders. "It's just not fair," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. "New York riders pick up a far bigger share of the costs of running our transit system than do our counterparts across the entire U.S." The findings by the Federal Transit Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, rely on local transit agencies' 2005 reports to the feds, the most recently available information. Gov. Spitzer has insisted fare and toll increases are "a last resort." But MTA CEO Elliot Sander, who was appointed by Spitzer, has proposed a series of hikes in his first financial plan. The base subway fare would rise in February to $2.25 from $2, and various MetroCard options would also go up. Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North fares would increase approximately 6.5% on average in March. Bridge and tunnel tolls would be boosted in April. The Daily News last week launched a "Halt the Hike" campaign to get the MTA to delay increases to give state legislators time to come up with funds for the MTA. Many legislators have signed off on a drive led by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) to delay implementation until April 15. The MTA expects a year-end budget surplus of $400 million, but it says the higher fares are needed to close budget gaps that loom in 2009. More than 80 members of the Assembly and state Senate have come out against the fare and toll hikes. "For the life of me, I can't understand how they're projecting a surplus and we're talking fare increases," said Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R-Suffolk), who has joined the effort. MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said the subway system here is older and more costly to maintain than other systems. The fare, he said, is "competitive." "Nowhere else does $76 a month provide unlimited access to a 24-hour system with scores of bus lines and express and local trains serving more than 450 stations," Donovan noted. The MTA received $4.5 billion in state aid this year, far more dollars than any other transit agency received, he said. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.