A new year is here but the story remains the same, Albany is looking to give a low blow to the MTA & its riders. The latest low blow comes from newly elected Governor Andrew Cuomo who wants to slash some funding earmarked for the MTA.
The news came out a day before he is scheduled to unveil his budget proposals. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report:
Gov. Cuomo soon will propose a reduction in MTA funding – but he doesn’t want to trigger an increase in what riders pay to ride the subway, buses and commuter trains, a source close to the administration said.
The figure will be limited to an amount the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be expected to absorb while maintaining both the current MetroCard prices and level of service, the source said.
“The governor acknowledges it’s been a rough couple of years for the riding public and doesn’t want to see them hit with more service cuts or fare hikes,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, who has lobbied administration officials on behalf of riders.
It seems crazy to even raise the possibility of riders paying more. The prices have risen three years in a row.
MTA executives cut $500 million in spending last year. About 3,500 positions were eliminated, many through painful layoffs.
But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority remains in a constant state of fiscal crisis. Its 2011 budget plan has a $75 million reserve – lunch money for an authority operating the largest subway system in North America and the country’s two largest commuter railroads.
Whatever its shortcomings, the MTA’s money problems aren’t the result of corrupt transit executives, bungling bureaucrats or greedy workers, as some critics contend.
There never was an illegal “two sets of books,” a myth that emerged after an ethically challenged state controller released a scathing report on MTA finances. The real shell game takes place in Albany.
Click here for the complete report.
Let me first start off by saying thank you to Pete Donohue for addressing the ridiculous second set of books tale that has spread like wildfire over the years by exposing it as an outright lie. However that is the only good part of this report.
Mr. Cuomo, do you remember the service cuts from a few months ago? Well if money that was earmarked for the MTA not stolen from them, they could have been avoided. He clearly is living in a fantasy world if he really thinks that funding can be stolen from the MTA & in return they will not cut services or find a way to pass costs on to riders via fare hikes. The numbers do not lie as it is impossible to play both sides to the middle & no consequences occurring.
So if things go as expected, the MTA will get deserved money taken away from them, the brunt of the blow will be passed on to riders via some sort of cuts to service or functions, and possibly fare hikes. Then elected officials will come out & go fishing for B.C.P’s (Brownie Constituent Points) by blaming the MTA & they will get praised for fighting for the little guy.
Seriously if 2011 is a repeat of the last few years, will riders finally wake the hell up & hold all of these officials responsible for selling them out yet again? They better as if they don’t, it will be hard to feel sorry for such suckers.
xoxo Transit Blogger