We all know the MTA’s finances are in the toilet. They are looking at each & every way to try & bring in extra revenue. The MTA Board feels they have come up with a good idea which calls for the NYFD & NYPD to pay tolls on all official duty travels, which at the current time is waived by the authority. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in his report:
A budget war has broken out between the city and the MTA over bridge and tunnel tolls. The MTA wants the Police, Fire and other city departments to pay tolls now waived by the authority.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is expected to vote this month on a resolution requiring payments for all official-duty travel, including firefighters responding to fires and police responding to calls for assistance.
“It’s an underhanded attempt to increase the city’s already large subsidy of the MTA by charging the city for responding to emergencies or performing other essential services,” mayoral spokesman Marc La Vorgna said.
Both the MTA and city have budget gaps rooted in the economic downturn highlighted again this week by the collapse of major Wall Street firms. The MTA has been hit hard by lower tax revenues and high fuel prices and is proposing another fare hike for next year.
Click here for the complete report.
This is a very interesting proposal that I can see will get a flame war (no pun intended) going. I see both sides of the issue here as good points can be made for them. On one hand the MTA’s finances are in terrible shape & are at a point that they could be too much to overcome. So if the agency can bring in money on tolls why not waive what is a luxury at the moment.
On the other hand I can understand the point of how this action could be considered dangerous. In the case of an emergency where every second could be the difference between life & death, the time spent dealing with toll payments could easily come into play.
I have to think about this one for a bit before sharing an opinion. I will keep an eye on this battle as I imagine it will make for some interesting times.
xoxo Transit Blogger