So the dreaded date of March 25th is just about 3 weeks away. This is the day that the MTA might vote to enact the “doomsday scenario” that would affect millions of riders throughout the tri-state area. The Ravitch Commission has recommended some proposals to help the MTA close its operating budget gap & create dedicated sources of revenue for years to come.
One of those proposals included tolling East & Harlem River bridges. This has irked many but that did not stop State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from proposing his own toll plan. With all of that in mind, state democrats have called into question the credibility of the MTA’s financial books. Glenn Blain & Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report:
Questions about the MTA’S credibility are hampering a plan designed to rescue 8.5 million subway, bus and commuter train riders from massive fare hikes and service cuts.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) Monday said he has enough votes to pass a package with tolls on East and Harlem river bridges.
But some Senate Democrats doubted a majority of senators would go along – and Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority “does not have a history of being forthright in terms of their budget. You know, they kept two books at a time.”
Senate Dems planned a “full vetting of MTA finances” and want to strengthen the state controller’s oversight of the authority, Smith said in a statement last night.
Senate action on any bailout plan wouldn’t happen this week, a Smith spokesman said.
Click here for the complete report.
I am no apologist for the MTA but this is ridiculous. There is only 3 weeks to go until the MTA Board votes on whether or not to implement the “doomsday scenario” which would affect riders throughout the tri-state area. So is this really the time to question the credibility of the MTA’s books? The double books scandal happened over 5 years ago & those responsible are no longer with the MTA. So why of all times are you now looking to vet their records?
The leaders in Albany have known about the dire straights the MTA has been in for ages now. Hell, they are the biggest reason why the MTA is in the position it is in now. So why with only 3 weeks to go are these leaders doing a disservice to their constituents by wasting such precious time on this? Residents of the tri-state area need to be the main priority here & not some dog & pony show between bickering so called “leaders”. We need people them to understand that time is of the essence & can’t afford to be wasted on this vetting process.
There is no way that they could audit their books within 3 weeks! So where does this leave the riders who will feel the pain when the MTA Board approves the “doomsday scenario“? I will tell you where they will be left, in the cold like they always are. The people who ride mass transit have never been or will ever be a priority to the so called “leaders” we have in Albany. For as much as I mock the responses left to reports in the Daily News, one responder had a partial point when they said:
While I think the MTA is a bunch of thieves that should all be fired and jailed, I find it hilarious that the morons in Albany are trying to call them on it. That’s another bunch that should be thrown out a window.
So called “leaders” calling anyone out on possible misleading books is such a prime example of the “pot calling the kettle black” if I have ever seen one!
xoxo Transit Blogger