Rally for Transit Rescue Today at Union Square

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There will be a rally today from 5:30 to 7:30 at Union Square (Broadway and 14th St. in Manhattan) in protest of planned MTA fare hikes and service cuts. Event organizers include Transportation Alternatives, the Straphangers Campaign, the Working Families Party, Keep New York Moving and the Facebook group "1,000,000 People Against the NYC MTA Fare Hike."

Says TA:

Rally-goers will hear from fellow riders whose bus and subway lines are about to disappear, as well as from labor and transportation advocates. They will make phone calls to their State Senators, and handwrite messages to the NY State Senate on a giant "Facebook Wall," conveying what fare hikes and service cuts will mean for their commutes. The wall will be hand-delivered to Senate leadership.

This event is likely to draw media coverage, so if anyone who’s planning to attend is able to bring pro-bridge toll signs it could be a good way to show that members of the transit-riding public — unlike state lawmakers — aren’t ready to concede on the merits.

  • Glenn

    See y’all there.

    As much as possible when chanting or talking with the media, please say that you are FOR bridge tolls, FOR the Ravitch/Silver plan, or FOR market rate parking meters, etc.

    My simple line is that anyone driving into and out of Manhattan should have to pay at least the cost of a roundtrip on mass transit. That’s only fair. At least parity. Same for any exemptions – like going to a MDs office or something. If you give it to drivers, you should give it to mass transit riders.

  • rlb

    My personal opinion is that couching this as a protest against the fare hikes is really not the right approach. The MTA has a bottom line, and they have few ways to meet it. If they don’t have the money they have to raise fares or lower operating costs. This protest could just come across as more ganging up on the MTA, a company that offers the best transit service in the country at among the lowest prices.

  • Glenn

    I agree rlb, but that’s why we need folks like you and others reading S-blog to turn out for this one – to show that this is not just about the MTA, but a broken legislature that is not representing the majority of transit users and instead pandering to the driving minority that they seem to empathize with more.

  • Great point, rlb. I’d much rather see a Facebook group called “1,000,000 People for a Fully Funded MTA,” or something along those lines.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Remember what Generation Greed wants — long term decline not short term sacrifice followed by an eventual recovery.

    And there will be organized groups there that extracted extra money in the past that, as dollars move around behind the curtain, ended up as MTA debt.

    If asked, I recommend saying that younger generations of residents, who are increasingly choosing transit, should not be forced to sacrifice even more to pay those debts — while drivers, bondholders and those with retirement income get off scot free.

  • It was nice seeing everyone tonight. I helped about 40 folks call their state senator. Nice event – TA, Straphangers, Tri-State, etc. Thanks to everyone for turning out!

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