A week ago I wrote about the MTA’s desire to charge local government agencies with the toll prices that average citizens pay. The plan which came endured sharp criticism from Mayor Bloomberg & his appointees on the MTA Board was approved by a margin of 7-6. The approval came after a lively debate at today’s MTA Board meeting. New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue has more in this report:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Wednesday to start charging government agencies for police officers, firefighters and other public employees who cross its bridges and tunnels.
The MTA board approved the plan 7-6 after a debate that pitted Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appointees against several of the other members.
City budget director Mark Page, one of the mayor’s four representatives on the MTA board, said “the ill will arising from this proposal” would probably outweigh the expected $10 million a year in additional revenue.
MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander said he sympathized with the city’s position but added, “This is an accounting issue. And it’s something that we need to do given the current state of the MTA’s finances.”
The plan will go into effect in six weeks and affects dozens of agencies including the New York Police Department, the New York State Police and the Nassau and Suffolk county police departments.
Click here for the complete report.
I’m with Elliot here in feeling this had to be done in light of the budget situation. While the amount of $10 million barely takes a spot in the overall deficit, it is still an amount that is better to have than not at all. In the times that the agency is in, every dollar counts & could help make or break them in the long run. Any possible ill will will have to be overlooked for the greater cause & even the sharpest critics of this plan should be able to understand that.
xoxo Transit Blogger