In approximately 4.5 hours, the MTA will host the much talked about “Public Engagement” online seminar. The online seminar is billed as a chance for people to have a “real time” conversation with MTA leadership to discuss their financial situation, the capital plan, & their new fare & toll hike proposal. However thanks to William Neuman of the New York Times, we can now know how big our screwjobs will be. Here are the key points from his article:
Straphangers should be prepared to see a 6.6% increase in the price of 30 day unlimited Metrocards. Under the new proposal, these cards will rise to $81. The 7 day unlimited Metrocard will see a 4.2% increase as the price will rise to $25. The MTA will also create a 14 day unlimited card which will debut at the price of $47.
Metrocard bonuses were not left out of the mix as straphangers should be prepared to see a decrease in their bonus from 20% to 15%. However the amount needed to qualify for the bonus will drop from $10 to $7. According to the example given, $7 Metrocard purchases will reflect a balance of $8.05. Unfortunately straphangers will have to prepare to see many visuals of an uneven balance. Under this new pricing scheme, straphangers will have to buy 7 rides before earning a free ride. This is a far cry from the simpler process of only needing to buy 5 rides to earn a free ride. To read William’s article, you can click here.
Who would like to join me in singing the praises of the MTA & Gov. Spitzer for giving us the good ol’ screwjob for the holidays? The majority of riders did not want a fare hike even though it was obvious we would have to endure one anyhow. However as much as we expected one, I don’t think any of us were prepared to get such a screwjob. Why is it that this fare hike punishes the loyal riders who make up a huge majority of the ridership while letting the minority (14%) along with drivers off the hook?
The saddest part of the supposed heroics of Gov. Spitzer is that his intervention actually ends up costing the majority of riders in the long run. Under the proposal that will be discussed during the seminar, the majority of riders are being asked to shoulder more of the burden than we would have originally if the fare was raised to $2.25. Lets not also forget that the proposed 6.6% increase is more than what drivers will have to face at the MTA’s bridges & tunnels. Nice!!!!
So lets see if I get this straight, I along will millions of others who make up the 86% of riders who qualify as your most loyal customers are expected to carry the burden of a fare hike. We get to watch the 14% minority pay no extra money out of pocket to ride the same system we are loyal to. We also get to watch drivers deal with a lower increase in costs. I figured I was overreacting in criticizing this nice screwjob gift for the holidays by the MTA & Gov. Spitzer. I thought if I repeated the details of it, I would start to be thankful for this holiday treat. Well guess what, I am even more pissed!
I along with millions of others are expected to support a fare hike to supposedly help our system & its finances. However your best way of convincing us is to screw your most loyal customers who just happen to make up 86% of your ridership! Good one! Can you do me a favor & tell me what business/P.R. school you attended so I can slap the hell out of the person who created it. Thanks!
xoxo Transit Blogger