Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Budget Picture Grows Bleaker; Weekend Service to Suffer (NYT, News, NY1, Post)
  • Subway Ridership Fell in January (City Room)
  • City Installs Enforcement Cams to Catch Cabs in 34th Street Bus Lane (MTR, Post)
  • Why the Auto Industry Bailout is Doomed (Boston Herald via Hugh Bartling)
  • MTA Board Heads to Albany to Push for Ravitch Plan (News)
  • Transit Advos Launch Subway Ad Campaign for MTA Funding (MTR)
  • Bob Herbert on America’s Lackluster Infrastructure Investment (NYT)
  • VMT Dipped in December, But Not by Much (Worldchanging via Streetsblog.net)
  • Robo Train Hits L Line Tracks (News)
  • San Francisco Plans for Its First Pedestrian Priority Street (Streetsblog SF)
  • Larry Littlefield

    The MTA STILL does not have a realistic budget plan, because the State of New York would never allow it. They are going to pass that payroll tax, borrow money, and use the proceeds for the operating budget as “capital” normal replacement ends. The result will be a downward spiral.

    There is no way that the current members of the legislature will allow anything but a deferral of all sacrifice to the generations that matter, and a complete collapse after they are gone.

  • Glenn

    I want to see the MTA give Albany a little taste of their own medicine.

    I urge them to pander. Tap into the populism of the subway & bus riders. Show them the MTA is on the side of the public against politicians that want to hide from reality.

    I urge them to grandstand. Have press conferences at all the places that will receive service cuts. Bring people who will not be able to afford to go to work or school because of fare increases or will have to trade-off their metrocard for their food budget.

    I urge them to quote the same politicians that argue against service cuts, for fare cuts but who have not come through with the money from other sources to fund their fantasies.

    It’s time to fight fire with fire. Lean forward and don’t let them bully you.

  • Re: Automated L Train

    I love the fact that each of these newly automated trains now has a motorman whose sole job is to push a button every 15 seconds to make sure he/she is alert in case of trouble. Sounds like Desmond on Lost, except that our fares are paying for this individual. If that isn’t featherbedding, I don’t know what is.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I want to see the MTA give Albany a little taste of their own medicine.”

    Who do you think appointed these people? And what did you think was the criteria for appointment?

    Public sector or private, the criteria was the same — a willingness to keep one’s mouth shut and make convenient assumptions.

    Pension actuaries. Public budget analysts. Stock analysts. Executive pay consultants. Bond raters. Real estate appraisers. Mortgage brokers. Real estate brokers.

    Reporters? I heard a report yesterday that a large share of those laid off from the Newark Star Ledger, one of many newspapers going down the tubes, have been hired as PR people by those they used to cover. I guess you have to do what you have to do.

    Etc. etc. etc.

  • So does anyone have a realistic idea of what level of tolling it would take to avoid service cuts and keep monthly passes below $90?

  • Re. “# City Installs Enforcement Cams to Catch Cabs in 34th Street Bus Lane”: As Cap’n Transit pointed out in a comment to the Post article, why only cabs?

    Re. “Why the Auto Industry Bailout is Doomed”:
    This article is exactly right. The country has enough cars and no amount of bailouts will be able to force auto sales numbers high enough for all the existing auto companies to be profitable. Unfortunately it’s a difficult truth that not many people are willing to tell.

  • The Boston Herald piece is interesting. It notes that there was one car or truck for every nine Americans in 1922. By 1968, vehicles and population were about evenly matched. Today vehicles outnumber people by 20 million or so. So all the auto industry can do is replace existing cars as they die (if the economy and peak oil will allow even that). The era of rapid growth in car sales is over. And that’s why the carmaker bailout will fail — it’s bucking a major structural change in the market. The automakers, and their servants in Washington, need to reconcile themselves to the inevitably of lower production capacity. The best way to do that would be to ramp up train and bus production. After all, we hardly suffer from an oversaturation of mass transit.

  • Shemp

    Josh and Cap’n Transit, read the MTR article, and rack your brain to try to remember the last legislative session in Albany and you will understand why only cabs.

  • Yes, Shemp, I know that and you know that. Maybe Josh does too. But do the Post readers know that?

  • Shemp

    You’re right, and that’s a constant problem with Post editors (not writers so much) – transportation and traffic stories get edited into 2 sentence squibs.

  • J. Mork

    So does anyone have a realistic idea of what level of tolling it would take to avoid service cuts and keep monthly passes below $90?

    http://www.mta.info/mta/09/overview.html

  • J. Mork

    Hmm, sorry that’s not the right link in my previous post. Carry on.

  • Rhywun

    RE: Bob Herbert on America’s Lackluster Infrastructure Investment

    Is the “Infrastructure Bank” going to get a “Czar”? Are there any other fancy ideas they can come up with to hide the fact that the reason our infrastructure is rotting is because we’re not spending enough money on it? I wish Herbert, instead of blaming “wasteful, inefficient and outmoded 20th-century way of doing politics and government” (although there certainly is that) would tell it straight and put the blame on the American people, where it belongs. The American people don’t want to spend money on this stuff, plain and simple.

  • Mark, you are exaggerating a bit. He says that in 1968, there was one car for every two people, and now there are more cars than licensed drivers (not more than people).

  • Thanks, Charles.

  • Max Rockatansky

    Re: Automated L Train… motorman whose sole job is to push a button every 15 seconds = worst video game ever.