MTA To Help Low Income Riders?

According to MTA CEO Elliot Sander this is the case. Earlier today he said that the city & MTA have held preliminary discussions on an “innovative card” that is meant to help low income riders who do not own a bank account. This breaking news was mentioned about Mr. Sander was asked how low income riders without bank accounts could afford a fare increase.

Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs had this to say about the “innovative card”:

“Whether it’s public transportation or bank accounts, the Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity is always exploring new ways to ensure the same access to critical services that people with higher incomes take for granted, recognizing that every extra cent counts.”

She also went on to say “”We have had very preliminary discussions with the MTA on strategies to help the working poor better access discounts the MTA affords frequent travelers.”

Mr. Sander claims the MTA thought about low income riders when they came up with their two fare hike proposals.

Call me crazy but doesn’t the MTA have more legitimate concerns to deal with? This might sound harsh but I must state how I feel. While I do not have actual data in front of me, I am 100% positive that a majority of “low income riders” are illegal citizens in this country. So tell me why does the MTA & government as a whole continue to cater to people who are here illegally? This really pisses me off when I see attention & energy being wasted on illegal immigrants when actual citizens have their own needs that get overlooked.

Great job MTA & NYC, continue to hand out assistance to those who do not deserve it!

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Metrocard Machines Partially To Blame?

Well this is the case according to an MTA spokesman. According to this spokesman, the Metrocard Vending Machine’s change limitations are partially to blame for the proposed hike being a quarter. The Metrocard machines are only capable of giving change in quarters & dollar coins. Since this is the case, the minimum fare hike would have to be at least a quarter.

According to MTA chief Elliot Sander, the limitations of the MVM’s were not the primary factor in the proposed hike being a quarter. He said “We’re not saying that it wasn’t a factor, What I’m saying is that it was not the primary factor.” According to him the machines could have been fixed if the hike was not a quarter. MTA Chief Financial Officer Gary Dellaverson said “it was an aspect of the consideration, but $2.10 was considered.”

The MTA says that the proposed quarter fare hike would only be matching inflation since 2003 which is when the base fares were last raised. Supposedly if they increased the base fare by anything less than a quarter, they would be forced to increase the cost of unlimited weekly & monthly Metrocards. According to the MTA, only 14% of riders pay the full $2 per ride & that percentage is expected to decrease under both fare hike proposals.

I do wonder what kind of fare increases we will see when they phase out Metrocards. The MTA is already looking into new technology to do just that. They are mainly focusing on smart cards which enable riders to tap or wave the card near a sensor. Last summer Citibank sponsored a smart card pilot program which enabled Citibank Mastercard holders to use their credit card or a key fob in place of a MetroCard at approximately 30 stations.

Leave it to the MTA to even partially use a machine as a scapegoat for their fare hike. How about taking some responsibility for poorly handling your finances & letting yourselves be screwed out of funding from the local to the federal governments!

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Fight Between City/TLC & Taxi Drivers Continue…

The war between NYC & many taxi drivers is still going strong. Initially the battle lines seemed to be seriously drawn when the two day strike took place. However this issue has gotten more serious as the two sides are now duking it out in court.

Many taxi drivers & their supporters rallied outside of The Manhattan Federal Court as a hearing was taking place inside. The hearing was setup to address a petition filed by The New York Taxi Workers Alliance and eight individual drivers. The petition is restating the points that they have clearly objected to over the last months. The main sticking point continues to be about the NYC & the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s mandate to install GPS units in all cabs.

This issue sure seems like it will drag out for a long time!

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MTA Expecting Few……

AMNY’s Subway Tracker Blog had a very interesting entry about the MTA’s proposed tiered fare hike. Elliot Sander said he expects “smaller digits” of straphangers to ride the subway outside of rush hour on a discounted fare. This comment was made at today’s board meeting.

According to the MTA’s preliminary estimates, the percentage of straphangers going to work on the discounted fare will be in the single digits. Mr. Sander did not release actual figures but made a statement that could not be more accurate. His statement which mentioned the busiest lines in the system, the Lexington Avenue lines was “Even in the smaller digits, it’s meaningful when you talk about the Lexington Avenue line”.

I work for myself so I ride the subway at all hours. I do find that a tiered fare would definitely work to my advantage in theory because I tend to do a lot of non rush hour commuting to places especially when I go to see friends perform. However I don’t think it will make much of a change in my wallet as I usually purchase unlimited monthly cards. Now if I could get extra discount on my card for riding during the non rush hour, I might just crack a smile!

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As If One Fare Hike Was Not Enough……

If you thought the 2008 fare hike might be avoided, wake up! The MTA is already discussing additional fare hikes for 2010! According to MTA chief Elliot Sander “that is the plan” & “Again, that’s also why we have a public participation process, to see how the public feels about every two years staying even with the cost of living, rather than taking three to four years and having a larger increase.”

>r. Sander also stated that fare hikes in 2010 might not affect “each segment of our user group”. If this turns out to be the case, it would be similar to fare hikes that took place in 2005. The 2005 fare hike saw a 5% increase in commuter railroad fares while base bus & subway fares remain unchanged.

I think some sort of government oversight needs to be put in place. Why should straphangers be forced to deal with 2 fare hikes in a span of 4 years? What happens to all the money that the MTA brings in from fares, tolls (most important funding source) , advertising, real estate, etc….? It seems that every year or so we hear about a huge surplus. This talk is then followed up with “we might need to raise fares again” propaganda.

It is a shame how this agency continues to get away with bleeding straphangers dry while getting away with their financial miscues. A change needs to be made!!!!

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