Today’s Headlines

  • Albany Expected to Come Up Short for Transit Riders Again Next Year (News)
  • Bloomberg: Attaching My Name Would Be Kiss of Death for Pricing Revival (Observer)
  • Pedro Espada Could’ve Made Valid Point About MTA Real Estate Assets, But Didn’t (SAS)
  • Enviro Review Requirement Blocks Stim Investment in Northeast Corridor (Globe)
  • Snow Puts a Damper on Auto-Dependent Retail as Shoppers Fill City Stores (NYT, City Room, News)
  • DC Cop Flashes Gun When His Hummer Is Hit by Snowballs (City Paper)
  • Man Commandeers City Parking Lot, Opens It to Motorists (City Room)
  • Bedford Ave Lane Cost More to Destroy Than Install; Protest Pushes Safety, Not Skin (Gothamist 1, 2)
  • Fulton Street in Fort Greene to Get Summer Streets Treatment in 2010 (The Local)
  • Throgs Neck Bridge Rehab May Have Contaminated Little Bay (News)
  • Latest Hope for Keeping Americans Hooked on Driving: 90 Years’ Worth of Natural Gas (AP)
  • Larry Littlefield

    We’ll be getting the stimulus money people with power in the Northeast want: consultant stimulus. How much money was spent on the review process for the SAS and East Side Access? It went on for a decade.

  • I think the MTA needs a new budget strategy. Instead of relying on any “transit aid” from the state or city, just put together a budget that you totally control and let the state and city cough up extra for specific line items.

    How much does the S79 cost to run? Let State Senator Andrew Lanza have to fight for that money to go to fund that bus line. and so on. How much does the N cost to run out to Ditmars Boulevard? City Councilmember Vallone can seek city funding for that…

    Then every year, the State legislature and City Council can put together a transportation funding package that specifically funds their priorities in line items on the MTA list.

    And all the state legislators will have to curry favor with the MTA to get their stuff put into the base MTA budget. And everyone then knows exactly what their money is going to fund.

  • I want to point out that the fake parking attendant didn’t scam the motorists. They got to park where they wouldn’t otherwise have been allowed, and paid market price. It was the city that got scammed when he allowed them to park there without giving the city a cut.

  • Indeed, Cap’n.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Instead of relying on any ‘transit aid’ from the state or city, just put together a budget that you totally control and let the state and city cough up extra for specific line items.”

    Perhaps those that could run at a profit?

    “How much does the S79 cost to run? Let State Senator Andrew Lanza have to fight for that money to go to fund that bus line. and so on. How much does the N cost to run out to Ditmars Boulevard? City Councilmember Vallone can seek city funding for that.”

    Who gets to pay debt service and unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities associated with past (not present) work? That is what most of the MTA is for, after all.

  • …and if we run out of natural gas here? There’s boatloads on Titan.

  • Good point Larry. Maybe the MTA can line item that too? Who wants to pay for this. If no one, then stop paying. What would happen then? Would they arrest the board members?

  • Josh

    Bloomberg raises a fair point, I suppose. Right or wrong (hint: wrong), CP was cast as elitist Manhattanite Bloomberg trying to keep the riffraff out so that he and his elitist Manhattanite friends could drive around. What it needs is for outer borough politicians to realize how it can benefit their constituents.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Maybe the MTA can line item that too?”

    When the MTA held its financial public engagement seminar, I told Hemingdinner that that the agency should do is the opposite of what it does when it sells Metrocards. It advertises a ride at a particular price, but because of discounts, the actual revenue per ride is much lower, currently at $1.50 per ride for the subway, $1.10 per ride for the bus, not including students.

    So I suggested cutting the “fare” to the actual cost of transportation, and instead of giving a discount to buy a Metrocard, assessing a “sins of the past surcharge” to pay for debts and unfunded pension liabilities. Ie. pay $50 and you have a $30 Metrocard after paying a $20 “sins of the past surcharge.”

    And you wonder why there is no one like me on the MTA Board!

  • I got a kick out of the Rogue Parking Attendant story. The comments on the publishing website were a bit concerning, as in a lot of, “Why is the city wasting these DISPARATELY NEEDED parking spaces? This man is a hero!” I’m sure most of us reading this blog see off-street parking as a bad thing for the city. So my bitter, uptight, pro-human-friendly-city side scoffs at this man for making the lives of motorists easier at the expense of the city as a whole.

    But when I pop my head out of my own convictions, then yes, this man is brilliant, and certainly should be commended on his mind for business opportunities! We all know that the lots were not closed based on the reasoning that off-street parking is bad for the city. They were probably just closed due to years of deferred maintenance, or staffing issues. So cheers to you, Mr. Rogue Entrepreneur! And for the love of god, don’t let the city actually waste money prosecuting this man!

  • LR

    Rogue parking guy probably got in trouble because he was charging federal agents and cops. Look at where the lot is.

  • Abraham Moussako

    ^^ Agreed on the parking story. this man took advantage of a legitimate business opportunity, and harmed no one in anything but the most abstract way. The city does have the right to demand a share, say 25%, of his profits, but nothing more. Maybe they could even have him manage the lot for the next year at that 25% rate, thereby giving the city money.

    Of course, a better solution would be to turn that lot into actual development, but I doubt that will happen in this economy

  • Ian Turner

    LR, was thinking the same thing. The lot is “vacant” because it is used by municipal and court employees.