Over the last few weeks, the MTA’s piss poor financial situation has been in the news. Staring down the barrel of even bigger issues, the agency has been working on different ways to cut down on costs. One of those plans called for the elimination of Student Metrocards. As one would expect, this plan has been met with outrage from many parents & politicians across the city. Now we can add another person who has major reservations about the plan, Mayor Bloomberg.
The mayor took his opposition one step further on his weekly radio show calling into question why retired employees could still receive free rides but not students. Pete Donohue & Kate Lucadamo of the New York Daily News has more in this report:
If students can’t get a free ride, MTA retirees shouldn’t either, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday.
The mayor called into question the policy of giving retired transit workers free bus and subway rides since free and reduced cards for city students are on the chopping block.
“Does it make any sense to give retirees passes for the rest of their lives and not give our kids passes so they can go to school? No,” Bloomberg said during his weekly radio show. “It’s pretty hard to argue that that is an intelligent policy.”
Click here for the complete report.
Sorry but I must call the Mayor out for playing both sides to the middle here. On one hand, his entire reign as mayor has seen year after year of inadequate funding provided. Yet he wants to turn right back around & question a plan that would help the beleaguered agency save money. This is the same agency he has continuously abused for not doing what it can to cut costs.
Instead of acknowledging his failure at making sure the city puts in its fair share, he rather play political games & go to the tired routine of piling on to the MTA. His comparison of free riders taken by retired employees is beyond ridiculous. Does he truly believe the MTA spends more in giving away free rides to retired employees versus school children? If he does, he clearly has no business being the Mayor of New York City.
I do not support cutting Student Metrocards unless absolutely necessary. However instead of bashing the agency publicly as part of the status quo politcal games, how about properly funding the MTA. In case he does not get it, here is a clue for Mayor Bloomberg. Most employees who retire don’t use the system much, if at all in some cases. They tend to live outside the region & have no use for it & don’t want to ride it for that matter.
Lastly, why of all times call into question a perk given to workers for years? If it was such a huge concern, wouldn’t you have raised concern during past negotiations. Instead you wait until it is convenient to throw that out for the mostly anti-MTA public to feast on. Stop playing games Mayor Bloomberg & find a way to pony up a fair share of money for the Student Metrocards if you really believe in them so much. Anything less & you are just using students as a chess piece in your public game against the MTA.
xoxo Transit Blogger