The day of reckoning is upon us as the nightmare of a “doomsday scenario” becomes a reality. Later this morning, the MTA Board is expected to approve the enactment of their “doomsday scenario” budget which will feature not only massive fare hikes but massive service cuts as well. For months on end, the main topic of this blog & many like it were about the MTA’s finances & what needed to be done to rescue them from their financial peril.
Democrat & Republican senators have known about the deadline for needing a bailout of sorts for months. However the two sides could not come to an agreement which comes as no surprise to most, considering the majority leader questioned the legitimate deadline. So in return for this inaction, millions of riders will being a lot more for a lot less.
Some people have expressed to me a hope that something would get done at the last moment to save riders. However I told them not to count their breath especially when our Governor publicly threw in the towel. If that was not happening, we had Mayor Bloomberg pulling classic lines from the movie “Network” by urging riders to call & scream at their state legislators. Speaking of that, lets take a look into Mayor Bloomberg’s call for action in a report by Adam Lisberg & Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg told straphangers facing rising fares and painful service cuts to call their state legislators and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
The mayor lifted the famous line from the 1976 movie ‘Network,’ but said today it applies perfectly to the plight riders face.
“If Albany doesn’t come through, then the straphangers are going to have to bear the brunt of this,” Bloomberg said to reporters after an unrelated event in Brooklyn. “I don’t think that’s good for the system. I don’t think it’s good for our economy.
“But we cannot walk away from mass transit. We have to have it. So I hope it doesn’t get to that, but if it does, what I would suggest when you see what’s going to happen to your commuting costs, you should call your state legislators and say, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.'”
Click here for the complete report.
As I said yesterday, the riding public needs to understand that when they start shelling out more for less, they should point to one place, Albany! An editorial which will appear in today’s print edition of the New York Times sarcastically thanks Albany. Lets take a quick look at what was said:
Commuters across the New York City area should be spared the stunning fare increases and service cuts being voted on today. Even the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board calls the impending service cuts “horrific.”
Although Gov. David Paterson has supported the Silver compromise, Malcolm Smith, the Senate majority leader, has been unable to round up his slim majority of Democrats to vote for it. Mr. Smith also has not reached out to Republican senators who might support Mr. Silver’s transit solution.
Among city Republicans who should be interested in helping the M.T.A. are Senators Martin Golden of Brooklyn, Frank Padavan of Queens and Andrew Lanza of Staten Island. There are also a few Republicans upstate who should be trumpeting the Silver plan because of businesses in their districts that depend on the M.T.A. They include Senators Elizabeth Little of Glens Falls, Joseph Griffo of Rome and George Winner of Elmira.
As the State Senate turns its back on eight million riders a day, the M.T.A. can’t just wait. They could start preparing fare machines and scheduling delays set for June — unless Albany wakes up and comes to the rescue.
Click here for the complete editorial.
I give kudos to the person who wrote the piece as it was well written & offered excellent points across the board. It is unfortunate that those in Albany can’t grasp or care to, the importance of our system being funded. When the MTA says they are an economic engine for the region, they are not lying. One could even argue that they are an economic engine for the entire state. Either way, the point remains the same.
The system needs to be maintained, & expanded to continue its important role to our region. If the current officials in power can’t understand this or refuse to do so, we need new officials who will. For now, millions of riders will once again be forced to pay the price for the few who do not get it or care to.
xoxo Transit Blogger