Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Board Meets This Morning to Plan for Impending Doomsday (News)
  • Protesters Tell Diaz Sr to Get Behind Bridge Tolls (City Room, MTR)
  • Ravitch: A Stopgap Transit Fix Means Worse Pain Down the Line (NYT)
  • Kheel and Komanoff Pitch Their MTA Rescue Plan in Newsday
  • NYT Calls Out Smith, Kruger, and Other Obstacles to Transit Funding
  • Without Bridge Tolls, City Will Miss Out on Extensive New Bus Service (Post)
  • News Reporter Lays Bare His Own Windshield Perspective
  • Cops Issued 4,000 Driving-While-Phoning Tickets Yesterday (Post)
  • Port Authority Accepting Bids for ARC Tunnel Construction (NY1)
  • Washington State Legislators Kill Smart Growth Bill (HugeAssCity via Streetsblog.net)
  • Where is the “executive summary” for the current Kheel plan so I can send it to my reps ASAP?

  • Glenn

    Ravitch is right. A one shot injection of cash does not eliminate the need for fare increase and service cuts. Only a long term sustainable financing plan will let Albany off the hook.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, the doomesday plan is far from doomsday. The price of a ride has plunged relative to inflation over 13 years, and riders represented by Russianoff have short changed the MTA along with everyone else.

    But doomsday is coming. This is just the beginning. All those looking to cash in and move out leaving as little as possible behind have done very well for themselves.

    I agree with Ravitch on one thing — no more postponing the reckoning!

  • Larry: “Again, the doomesday plan is far from doomsday. The price of a ride has plunged relative to inflation over 13 years….”

    It’s the service cuts that will hurt.

  • Rhywun

    The price of a ride has plunged relative to inflation over 13 years

    Depends on how you use the system. For people like me who don’t live in a two-fare area or who don’t use the system a whole lot outside of work, not so much.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Depends on how you use the system. For people like me who don’t live in a two-fare area or who don’t use the system a whole lot outside of work, not so much.”

    In 1995 the fare was $1.50.

    http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

    That’s $2.08 in current dollars.

    http://www.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm#payper

    “Put $7 or more on your card and receive a 15 percent bonus. For example, a $20 purchase gives you $23 on your card. 11 trips for the price of 10, with $1 balance. Refill your card to use the balance. You get an automatic free transfer between subway and bus, or between buses.”

    So the $2.00 fare is discounted 15%, which makes it $1.70, down from $2.08 over 14 years.

    Of course, what is relevant is not the CPI but the cost of NYCT labor. And thanks to the pension enhancement of 2000, and the underfunding of the pensions under Pataki/McCall/Giuliani, that has gone up far more than the CPI.

    Everybody wins! (Until later).

  • Jason A

    With our region’s transit system stuffed to capacity, that we’re in a discussion to CUT service, rather than expand, highlights the appalling lack of leadership our city has suffered from in the last half-century.

    To any elected official past or present who recently has served the city: you failed us.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The appalling lack of leadership our city has suffered from in the last half-century. To any elected official past or present who recently has served the city: you failed us.”

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair. The city had an appalling lack of leadership from the end of WWII until the first Kock Administration in 1977. The state was OK.

    After a brief period of reasonable government at both levels, the state has had appalling government since Cuomo’s third term, reaching maximum evil during the reign of Pataki, Silver and Bruno. With perpetutal incumbency, virtually everyone who made the decisions that got us in this mess is in office there now.

    The state is killing us, and a lot of it isn’t an accident. In some ways those from outside the city who hate those living here are less of a problem than those from inside the city who sell us out for the right to make a few special deals for their special people.

  • Rhywun

    Gee, I didn’t think inflation was THAT bad.

    I have occasionally wondered what made the MTA think it could afford to offer basically free bus service and pretty big discounts on the Metrocard to boot–because clearly they can’t afford it. They could have had the foresight to, y’know, fix this financial mess first.

    less of a problem than those from inside the city who sell us out for the right to make a few special deals for their special people

    No argument here. The corruption is astonishing. I stopped voted about 5 years ago for that reason. (I lie. I DID vote in the last election, but I refused to pull the D or R lever.)

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Gee, I didn’t think inflation was THAT bad.”

    You ain’t see nothing yet. Gain a little wisdom from the other blogs I frequent and the other topics that concern me. Americans, in their zeal to have everything immediately, have run up public and private debts they cannot repay in anything like the same money.

    The choices are mass bankruptcies (happening now) and massive inflation which wipes out the real value of the debt. Among those who agree we are screwed, there is a big debate about how it will happen. But the Chinese are worried:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/world/asia/14china.html?_r=1&hp

    “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.”

    “He called on the United States to “maintain its good credit, to honor its promises and to guarantee the safety of China’s assets.”

    “But he stopped short of any threat to reduce purchases of American bonds, much less sell any of them. Still, it is rare for any world leader to raise questions about the safety of United States treasuries.”

    “While economists dismissed the possibility of the United States defaulting on its obligations, they said China could face steep losses in the event of a sharp rise in United States interest rates or a plunge in the value of the dollar.”

    How does 10% inflation per month sound? We’re a banana republic.

  • CNNMoney.com: “This is likely to be the first year since 1945 when the number of new cars bought will be less than the number of cars turned in to the junk yard.” My kind of year!