LIRR Politicians Urge MTA To Reconsider A Fare Hike….

LIRR train pulling into Woodside Station 02-20-06
(LIRR train pulling into Woodside Station; resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit

Today’s edition of the New York Newsday has an article about 8 Long Island state senators who contacted the MTA. All 8 of Long Island’s Republican state senators sent a letter to the MTA Chairman asking him to reconsider the proposed fare hike. The senators plan on conducting an online petition via their respective websites to help out their cause.

The MTA’s proposed fare hike calls for an average increase of base fares by 6.5%. Unfortunately this increase does not sit well with local politicians throughout Long Island who feel this increase is not a necessity. The strongly worded letter includes some interesting comments. Here are a few quotes from the letter:

Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) – “If you’re going to ask people to spend $100 or $200 more a month, you’d really better come with very strong reasons other than, ‘We think we’d like to keep up with the cost of living.”

Source unknown – “When coupled with the MTA’s projected surpluses, this failure reinforces our belief that these planned fare increases are a measure of convenience rather than a financial necessity.”

It seems the letter also references the August 2007 report by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli which states the MTA only saved 41% of its intended savings for the year 2006. They expected a bigger increase in savings from cost cutting measures that were implemented.

As one would expect, the MTA has a different perspective on the necessity of the proposed fare hike. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin issued a statement about the necessity of the agency’s planned fare hike. His statement was:

“Putting off a fare increase this year will only require a much steeper increase and unacceptable service cuts in 2009.”

Personally I can’t wait to read the entire letter that was sent to the MTA chairman. I bet it is quite an interesting read.

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