Earlier this morning I finally got a few minutes to read a little of the New York Times. As I normally would do, I went to the back of the main section to check out the editorials & I’m glad I did. Today’s edition of the paper contained a must read editorial about the financial state & reality of our city’s transit system. While I am not thrilled with the mention of many’s favorite fallback crutch congestion pricing, it does accurately paint the dire situation our system is currently in.
New York City’s mass-transit system is deteriorating and desperately underfunded. The politicians know this, but they are still providing far too little in the way of financing. The result is that the system’s users, many of them already suffering from tough economic times, could be stuck with the bill.
Neither the city nor the state is paying its fair share, despite what they claim. With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority facing a budget gap of nearly $1 billion next year, direct subsidies from both governments last year totaled about $600 million, not much more than what they were a decade ago, according to the nonpartisan Independent Budget Office. Adjusted for inflation, subsidies have actually declined, saddling riders with an ever-increasing burden.
The main problem is that New York’s state legislators have failed to put a dependable source of financing — like congestion pricing — in place. Transit has been forced to rely on fluctuating taxes from real estate and other sources and, increasingly, rising fares.
Click here for the complete editorial.
The person who wrote this editorial is spot on with the financial state of our transit system. It is great when politicians call out the MTA for their ridiculous practices or decisions. However if they truly wanted to better our system, they would stop putting all the blame on the MTA & do two things. The first thing would be to admit their role in the situation that caused the MTA to be where it is today. Lastly they would actually step up to the plate & put an end to the financial shortchanging of the MTA year after year. Until these politicians are ready to complete both steps, the history of putting the burden on riders will only help but continue on.
xoxo Transit Blogger