Today’s Headlines

  • Shocker: Rescue-Blocking Senators Don’t Carry MetroCards (Post
  • News Prods Readers to Turn Up the Heat on Kruger 
  • MTA’s Bond Rating Threatened (NYT)
  • Senate Plan to Fund Transit With Tax Hikes "Not Going Anywhere" (WCBS, News
  • Bus Service Cuts to Render Bay Ridge Seniors Immobile (NYT)
  • Booth Attendants Among Doomsday Casualties (NY1)
  • Who Uses Single-Ride MetroCards? (NYT)
  • Sharing Stories of Transit Heroes (Seattle Transit Blog via Streetsblog.net)
  • TLC to Penalize Non-Hybrid Fleet Owners (Post)
  • NY1 Series Offers Advice on "Beating the Parking Game"
  • Breaking the Shock-to-Trance Cycle of the U.S. Auto Market (Room for Debate)
  • oscarfrye

    I bet they believe the subway is “beneath them”

    pun intended!

  • Ashcan Sam

    Daily News article about MTA layoffs

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/03/27/2009-03-27_mta_workers_now_fear_for_their_jobs-1.html

    Also has poll about “who to blame” for fare hikes.

  • Glenn

    It is an all too common occurance in my experience for those from humble backgrounds that succeed to remember their former life and all its trappings with distain. I’m not saying everyone, but it’s a common occurance, particularly for 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants. The car becomes a symbol that they have “made it in America”. Driving your car anywhere you want for free is part of that reward.

    I really think it adds to their pleasure that all those suckers without a car have to wait long times in the cold at the bus stop and ride in crowded trains. It vindicates all their hard work at “making it” in a way that no paycheck can.

    “All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others”
    -George Orwell, Animal Farm

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Smith’s plan is to hit taxpayers with a double whammy.” On top of a massive income tax surcharge for the MTA “Smith wants an additional — and permanent — income tax surcharge for the MTA. It would take anyone who makes $100,000 and lives or works in the MTA ridership area, including those from Connecticut and New Jersey. The rate would be .65 percent — $650 bucks for every $100,000 you earn, even if you don’t take mass transit.”

    “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is against the MTA surcharge. “If in fact those surcharges do exist, we’re going to push the state income tax to the point where it’s probably unacceptable to New Yorkers,” Silver said.

    OK lets add this up. An additional tax on wage income and self employment income (the Ravitch Plan) is OK. An additional tax on all income (except Social Security and public employee pensions which would presumably continue to be exempt) including investment income is not OK.

    An income tax increase to pay for Local 1199, public employee pensions, and the extra 100,000 people local governments in New York State outside NYC hired in the Pataki/Bruno/Siver era is OK. In fact, Silver demands “taxing the rich” as part of any budget.

    And yet income tax increase for mass transit would “push the state income tax to the point where it’s probably unacceptable to New Yorkers.”

    And would Smith’s plan fund the capital budget? What about the cost of that budget? Or do they just want to postpone the start of deteriroation and collapse by two years? Whereas the Ravitch plan is to do so for five years?

    The $30 billion debt, and pension and retiree health care obligations from the past aren’t going poof. No one wanted to pay in the past, no one wants to pay now, and everyone has been told all along that there are “hidden billions” so they shouldn’t have to.

    You want to have a viable transit system in 20 or 30 years? Perhaps they should put me in charge.

  • oscarfrye

    wow the auto industry wanting higher gas taxes…who woulda thunk it…

    i’m all for it…$5/gallon

    it was nice to see some common sense conservation during the gas price run up last year…i’m sure some “special interests” would beg to differ

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Also has poll about ‘who to blame’ for fare hikes.”

    What a bogus poll. Just more pandering.

    How about “who is to blame for the collapse of NY’s transit system and economy?”

    Riders who wanted lots of fare discounts, which the MTA went deeper and deeper into debt to fund?

    Interest groups that wanted tax breaks and high spending on themselves, paid for by cutting off city and state aid to the MTA which borrowed the difference?

    Transit workers opposed to productivity increases, and benefitting from the massive pension enhancement in 2000 which its advocates claimed was ‘free’?

    Contractors, who somehow drastically escalated what they charged the MTA for projects over the past 10 years?

    MTA managers and analysts, whose numbers have grown significantly over 20 years?

    Wall Streeters, who made huge fees by having the MTA borrow at variable rates (later to explode) at a time when fixed rates were at historic lows?

    Older generations in general, which benefitted from all of the above while wrecking a future they don’t plan on being around to see?

    Or all of the politicans listed by the Daily News, who sought to maintain their jobs and increase their popularity by pandering to any interest in the short run and selling out a future that has now arrived?

    Who is to blame for decisions made today? THERE ARE NO DECISIONS LEFT TO MAKE!

  • oscarfrye

    Funny Pataki isn’t a choice on that poll

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Funny Pataki isn’t a choice on that poll.”

    Not funny at all. If the consequences of what you do at point A don’t appear until point B, you seem to be able to avoid accountability.

    Look at all the Wall Street execs getting grilled, and having their bonuses criticized. Almost all of them replaced the execs who actually made the mess, cashed in big bonuses and supplemental pensions, and ran off before the deluge.

    In two years “who is to blame for the fact that the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, and Americans have to assume currency risk by borrowing in yuan to buy their homes? Obama or Pelosi?”

  • The Times story on Bay Ridge seniors illustrates the deeper part of the Doomsday tragedy — not just that fares that will cost more, but that service will be unavailable at any price for some people.

  • RE: Bus Service Cuts to Render Bay Ridge Seniors Immobile

    > Some 3,524 people ride the B37 bus on an average weekday — a pittance
    > compared with blah blah blah …

    That’s because the thing only runs every half hour. 3rd Avenue might be all warehouses and parking lots in Sunset Park, but in Bay Ridge it’s a major commercial thoroughfare–I can’t understand why the service is so terrible. I walk up and down there all the time since I moved here a couple years ago; one time I thought, oh I’ll just catch the bus. Oh, it’s a 25 minute wait, never mind. There are so many people walking up and down that street, they could easily double the service on the Bay Ridge portion of that route.

    BTW, the RTA site with the maps of the cutbacks shows this route with only weekend service eliminated. Other resources show the route as entirely eliminated. Who knows.