Yesterday was a rough day in a relationship between the city & MTA that would never be confused as being healthy to begin with. The latest rough patch stems from the MTA Board approving a measure to start charging government agencies like the NYFD, NYPD, Parks Department, etc… tolls for using its bridges & tunnels. One City Hall bigwig more specifically City budget director Mark Page said the MTA’s decision was “ill-advised”. New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue has more in this report:
he MTA may regret revoking the city’s free E-ZPasses, a City Hall bigwig warned as the move was ratified Wednesday.
City budget director Mark Page called the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s money-generating initiative “ill-advised” as the city and MTA have a complex financial relationship, with several big-ticket items in dispute.
“I think … an ill will arising from this proposal is probably more expensive – in terms of the likelihood of coming together on the extremely important issues that face all of us – than it is worth,” Page said.
Page is one of Mayor Bloomberg’s four MTA board appointees. His comments came just before the board voted, 7 to 6, to bill city departments for bridge and tunnel trips.
Those departments include the mayor’s office, the mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and the Sanitation, Police, Fire and Parks departments.
The policy change also affects some state and local agencies and will raise some $10 million for the MTA as it tries to close looming budget gaps.
Click here for the complete report.
This story to me is more than just the MTA trying to raise money by collecting tolls from local government agencies. The fact that the MTA’s decision to collect these tolls is considered an “ill-advised” idea just illustrates part of what is wrong in the big picture.
The MTA is clearly in a state of financial crisis & is correctly looking for any & all ways to dig itself from out of this hole. The fact that a plan which goes along with this line of thinking is considered “ill-advised” illustrates how the city truly neglects its financial responsibilities to the MTA & more specifically its riding public, you know the millions that both parties are supposed to serve!
The city should be applauding the MTA for trying to find ways to tighten its belt while also bringing in much needed revenue. Instead of focusing on the true issues at hand, we have adults sparring over petty nonsense. How is the riding public ever supposed to believe that things will change when many people in high places are more concerned for the little things instead of the real issues at hand? If these people can’t look in the mirror or within themselves to realize this, what hope does the riding public have?
Not much if you ask me……………………………
xoxo Transit Blogger