The news front was quiet this weekend in the world of transit considering the financial crisis going on. Sunday’s New York Daily News had a strong editorial about how State Senate leaders must save the MTA:
State Sen. Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and his Democratic colleagues stand fairly warned. Unless they change course, they will impose the most backbreaking fare hikes ever on subway, bus and commuter rail riders.
They also will trigger crippling mass transit reductions, including the closure of whole subway and bus lines.
They also will halt track and signal maintenance, not to mention major projects like the Second Ave. subway.
They also will force 1,100 transit layoffs.
That’s this year. Next year, if Smith’s lawmakers fail to approve a Metropolitan Transportation Authority rescue, they will kick the fare higher, make service reductions deeper and cost more transit workers’ jobs.
The MTA is in dire straits, thanks to the state’s long failure to provide adequate support and to the national economic meltdown. And the picture is worse than had been imagined.
Smith needs to take a cue from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has the vision and courage to back an MTA rescue. Silver sized up the numbers, as developed by a commission headed by former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch, and saw, correctly, that the pain of tolls and taxes is unavoidable.
Click here for the complete editorial.
The message conveyed in this piece is nothing new from what many of us have been saying. However the message is so important that it needs to be hammered home until Albany wakes up, starts to give a damn, or both, to the realty of this crisis. The lives of millions will change for the worst in 9 days unless Albany does the right thing. Will they?…….. I have my doubts but this is one time I hope I am completely wrong.
xoxo Transit Blogger