Editorial Blasts MTA Board Over Free Perks

Continuing with the theme of late, the MTA Board free perks scandal, the Daily News featured an editorial in Friday’s edition that blasted the MTA Board over their free perk use. Here is the editorial courtesy of the Daily News:

Who was that nattering on at Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters the other day? Queen (“We are not amused”) Victoria? Oops, our mistake. It was MTA Vice Chairman David (“The board is not happy”) Mack.

Pray tell, why was the board unhappy? Because of chairman Dale Hemmerdinger’s decision that free E-ZPasses and transit and rail passes would be rescinded for ex-board members and that current members could use them just for official business.

He ruled after the board was shamed by Daily News exposés and threatened with court action by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

It is to formally vote on the matter next week. A revolt was brewing, until its leader Mack, an ultra-wealthy Long Island real estate developer, opened his mouth and uttered intemperate comments about mass transit and its workers. Oops, his mistake.

Mack yesterday expressed “regret” for yapping off and said he will support perk reform.

Quite a change from: “Why should I ride [the LIRR] and inconvenience myself when I can ride in a car?”

Besides, Mack had intoned, when he rides in a car, he performs a priceless service, keeping his laserlike eyes out for traffic/transit problems.

“We’re invaluable,” he had declared of MTA board members. Why? Because when board members complain, they get action. Unlike the public.

“If you saw something and called it in, it goes right there,” he said, referring to a trash can.

But you suspected that.

Embarrassed and scolded by no less than the governor, Mack said, “I plan to vote next week in support of changing our policies so that free passes for our transportation systems are used only by current board members, who are on official MTA business.”

Let that bring an end to a sense of entitlement among MTA officials, an end to obsessing over perks and pay.

They belong on subways, buses and trains with, to use Mack’s word, “normal” people, experiencing crowding, delays and smells at full fare.

Let them wait on line to find the MetroCard machine is on the blink.

Let them ride like cattle on the Lexington Ave. or E trains.

Let them experience the Long Island Railroad men’s rooms.

And let them focus on what’s most important right now: They must find the money so “normal” people don’t get hit next year with a fare hike.

The sentiment that the MTA needs to focus on finding the money it needs is shared by millions!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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