Fare hikes went into effect less then 24 hours ago & riders are once again bemoaning the agency. However the big elephant in the room is how no plan seems to be in the cards to help solve the $15 billion gap in the MTA’s Capital Program.
Sadly it comes to no surprise that help from Albany seems as likely as Jets fans becoming best friends with Bill Belichick. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:
Subway riders right now should be feeling like diehard Mets fans in July. The best you can say is “wait till next year.”
Gov. Cuomo and the state Legislature are deep into budget negotiations for the state’s fiscal year starting April 1. But no one in Albany is advancing a specific plan to close the $15 billion gap in the MTA’s capital program.
“I don’t think I’ve heard anyone bring it up, either publicly or privately,” one veteran reporter who covers state government said Friday.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast has testified before some Senate and Assembly budget committees. But the focus shifts elsewhere before Prendergast is even back on the Thruway driving south.
“I haven’t heard of it as a front-burner issue,” another scribe stationed in Albany said.
Click here for the complete report.
The last line in the above article snippet says it all when it comes to how important the MTA & its riding public is to officials. While riders are somewhat right in bemoaning yet another fare hike (the 5th within the last 8 years), the real enemy in our elected officials continue to get a free pass on their role in the problem.
Now this is not to say that the MTA is 100% free of blame here as they are not. The much maligned agency does deserve to be knocked for their faults such as overpaying for projects that cost nowhere near as much anywhere in the world, the barrage of project delays & more.
However some of the blame as to go to the riders as well who go out of their way to bash the agency yet are nowhere to be found when it comes to holding our elected officials feet to the fire. It sure does not help when a lot of our local media routinely points at the MTA as the only one responsible when a small minority of us know otherwise.
When all is said & done, we the riders need to get our voices heard through officials who not only care but truly understand how proper transit funding is one of the 3 most important things for our region’s economy. Until this happens, we will continue to see fares rise with nowhere near enough to show for it.
xoxo Transit Blogger