Foolish Propaganda If You Ask Me

By now you have read or heard (or both) about the Ravitch Commission’s plan which proposes ideas in how the MTA can collect a steady form of revenue for their budget. Each proposal has sparked strong feelings for or against it from businesses to commuters & to drivers & everyone in between. One of the main proposals calls for adding tolls to the East River & Harlem River bridges. This specific proposal has received the bulk of attention from the blogs, media & drivers itself.

The Regional Plan Association released individual borough sheets which showcasing the service cuts that will occur if this budget becomes a complete reality in 2009. Here is the link to each sheet:





Staten Island

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducted their own survey to show how fare increases would hurt more people versus toll increases. Here is a sample of their report:

Yesterday, the MTA Board passed its “doomsday budget,” officially putting riders on the hook for massive fare increases and service cuts if state elected officials don’t pass the Ravitch Commission’s recommendations or some other plan to save the system.

The consequences of state inaction are dire. The Regional Plan Association has released fact sheets for each of NYC’s five boroughs detailing where service cuts would take place — virtually everywhere in New York City. In addition, broad cuts to Long Island Bus, the LIRR, and Metro-North (as covered in MTR) mean that if elected officials don’t act, transit riders throughout the region will suffer.
Joe the Driver, Joanne the Transit Rider

The most controversial aspect of the Ravitch Commission’s plan is the addition of tolls to currently free East River and Harlem River bridges. But new TSTC fact sheets show that few workers in New York City and the surrounding suburbs drive to Manhattan. For example, according to the 2000 Census, only 3.1% of Brooklyn workers, 3.5% of Nassau County workers, and 4.4% of Westchester County workers drive alone to Manhattan to work

Click here for the complete entry.

Click here for the complete fact sheets.

I am sure this survey pleased the hardcore group of believes who foolishly believe that most people drive vehicles as a luxury in life. Yes, they have it figured out, most people buy cars as a luxury item because they could get everywhere they need to go by mass transit. I am all for mass transit & advocate for improvements & growth to our mass transit infrastructure & the money needed for such things. However I do not go around foolishly sporting the belief that many who drive do so as a luxury instead of some sort of necessity being behind it.

With that in mind, one can safely assume that I am not the biggest fan of this study. However it is not solely because of what I wrote above. I question the accuracy of the data being spread out as fact considering the source used for their analysis. I am a big believer that most studies can not possibly be 100% accurate due to it being impossible to get data from every possible source.

This study is no different as it is basing its analysis on data from the Census Bureau. Many people do not even bother or have the opportunity to participate in them so the data they have is never close to being complete. So with this in mind I question the legitimacy of the numbers being used in this report.

As you know by now, I am of the belief that our elected officials must do everything possible to provide money it owes the MTA before the riding public has to once again foot the bill. I completely understand that we have to shoulder some of the burden but we already shoulder too much of it & piling on is not fair to us. I’m sure there is truth behind the belief that fare increases would hurt commuters more versus drivers. However please stop making drivers out to be richer people who drive needlessly. It is one thing to believe something & a whole other thing to be bias & spread foolish propaganda of what most drivers in our region truly are.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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