Ulterior Motives?

While the proposed service improvements should improve service for many riders, one has to ask why the delay in implementing the possible changes? Well it seems the answer lies with Mayor Bloomberg as he is made out to be the culprit behind the delay of the possible service improvements. Patrick Arden of Metro wrote this article about the situation:

MIDTOWN. The MTA’s Finance Committee approved next year’s proposed fare hike yesterday, and the authority’s full board is expected to seal the deal tomorrow.

But just before the vote, NYC Transit unveiled a list of 32 “service enhancements,” involving 10 subway lines, 31 bus routes and four high-traffic stations. The proposed improvements — the first for subway service in four years — would acknowledge the system’s ridership is at a 35-year high.

MTA boss Elliot Sander had budgeted an annual $60 million worth of service improvements to arrive at the same time as the fare hike. Yet now the fate of these improvements is uncertain, as delayed implementation dates extend from June to December of next year.

While the debate over the MTA’s finances has focused on wringing money from Albany, this push-back came from City Hall, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to support the fare hike.

In a statement, Bloomberg made clear he had asked “that next year’s service increase program will not be implemented until the first quarter’s tax and other revenues are reviewed.”

“I chalk it up to the mayor’s scorn for traditional politics,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “It would be a rare mayor who would vote for a fare hike upon the condition that service improvements don’t go into effect until later in the year.”

The mayor’s motivation may ultimately be political, as the MTA’s new $28 billion capital program gets submitted to the state Legislature just before it votes on congestion pricing. The mayor’s traffic fee would fund the MTA’s capital needs.

Currently, the city funds just 4 percent of the MTA’s budget.

Lets hope Patrick is off base & that possible service improvements will fail to see the light of day due to ulterior motives or p0litics as usual.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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