Today’s Headlines

  • Stringer’s MTA Funding Plan: Tax NYC Workers Who Don’t Live in NYC (NYT, NY1)
  • How About This: Tax NYC Visitors Who Live Nowhere Near NYC (David King)
  • Road Pricing Also on Stringer’s Radar (Transpo Nation)
  • NY Mag: Can Snohetta’s Plaza Design Make Times Square a Destination for New Yorkers?
  • Six Days Until DOT Begins Installing PPW Ped Islands (Patch)
  • This Helps Explain All Those City Council Parking Bills (Post)
  • NYT Mistakes Ongoing Gentrification of Brooklyn for Atlantic Yards Effect
  • New Proposal From Eric Adams: Tasers for Transit Workers (News)
  • Feds: Fare Hike Four’s Espada Padded His Westchester Crib on Health Clinic’s Dime (Post)
  • Spring Bicycling Tips From Gothamist‘s John del Signore

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Jjmelon

    Ah nothing better then bike types from a news aggregator! Only the best. Wonder where they took them from?

  • Anonymous

    “NY Times Mistakes Ongoing Gentrification of Brooklyn for Atlantic Yards Effect.” That is exactly what I was thinking.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Having a former state legislature promise me something for nothing at someone else’s expense is almost enough to make me sick.

    “I don’t want us to have a first-rate city with a second-rate transportation system. I am tired of the old ideas. I am tired of people saying it can’t be done.”

    He wants the money paid by others to be used to subsidize operations, which will do nothing to make the system better in the long run.  His solution for the capital plan?  Spend all the future MTA mortgage recording tax money right now by borrowing against it. But this isn’t the “old idea” borrowing he voted for in Albany.  It is a “new idea”  — borrowing money and calling it an “infrastructure bank.”
     
     

  • Larry Littlefield

    Having a former state legislature promise me something for nothing at someone else’s expense is almost enough to make me sick.

    “I don’t want us to have a first-rate city with a second-rate transportation system. I am tired of the old ideas. I am tired of people saying it can’t be done.”

    He wants the money paid by others to be used to subsidize operations, which will do nothing to make the system better in the long run.  His solution for the capital plan?  Spend all the future MTA mortgage recording tax money right now by borrowing against it. But this isn’t the “old idea” borrowing he voted for in Albany.  It is a “new idea”  — borrowing money and calling it an “infrastructure bank.”
     
     

  • kevd

    The NY Times goes above its typical cheer leading for politically connected eminent domain abuse (from which they themselves area major beneficiary) and creates a entirely new logical fallacy, “ante hoc ergo propter hoc.”

  • kevd

    The NY Times goes above its typical cheer leading for politically connected eminent domain abuse (from which they themselves area major beneficiary) and creates a entirely new logical fallacy, “ante hoc ergo propter hoc.”

  • kevd

    Along the very same lines as the David King proposal….

    I always thought it would be a good idea to have a 1 or 2 dollar additional fee on all tickets for flights that land at or take off from JFK. The Air Train could then be made free for all instead of $5. More would take advantage of the $2.25 ride to their destination, some will still take a cab.
    $5 is fine for an occasional trip to or from the airport, but is absurd for workers there to have to pay $14.50 each day to commute from within the city. No wonder so few of them use it, preferring to drive or take the slower bus, which is a free transfer from the subway.

  • kevd

    On the same topic which has nothing to do with ANY of the articles.

    I feel personally offended that the Air Train is free to people who are dropped off by cars at Lefferts Blvd. Kiss and Fly (or parking long term there), but is $5 for those who do not have access to a car or a friend to drive them. Just another example of how funding mechanisms for transit in this town take the car-free for granted, and stick it to them any chance they get, but lavish subsidies on those who do have cars.

    Sorry. I get a bit rant-y about that, and I reminded myself of it by bringing up the Air Train….

  • Here’s some additional criticism of that NYTimes article on the “Atlantic Yards Effect”:
    http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/04/times-focuses-on-retail-changes-near.html

    There’s a lot more wrongheaded about that piece.

    Norman Oder
    Atlantic Yards Report

  • The Truth

    Is it possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station to ride for free?

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth (and Kevd):
    Yes, it is possible to ride your bike to the Lefferts Blvd (Kiss and Fly) AirTrain station for free access. I did it recently. There is a nice covered bike rack there. And if you are not up to riding all the way to or from JFK. It is a short ride from there to the Aqueduct/N. Conduit Av. A train stop.

  • kevd

    @ The Truth
    YES!
    #1. Where will you keep you bike while you are gone?
    #2. Bringing a suitcase? How?

  • Larry Littlefield

    This Stringer stuff is what we are seeing more and more.  Older politicians and union leaders who steered our future public revenues to their backers now protesting against the diminished well being against those left holding the bag.  And proposing bogus “solutions”  with a fraction of the resources to solve the problem that keep all the past deals and their beneficiaries in place.

    They don’t just want the benefits without the costs.  They want rationalizations to go with it.

  • Anonymous

    @kevdflb:disqus  What you “always thought … would be a good idea to have a 1 or 2 dollar additional fee on all tickets for flights that land at or take off from JFK” to fund the Air Train, has been done for around a decade: a federal “Passenger Facility Charge” of $4.50 applied to virtually all outbound flights. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirTrain_JFK#History) How did you think this not-cheap project was paid for, anyway?

    And why should the Air Train be free? Air travelers are much more affluent than the average New Yorker, and many of them are out-of-towners who don’t particularly mind paying for such a premium service. As for JFK workers, I believe they can pay down their daily cost with monthly unlimited Air Train tickets, as well as (of course) monthly Metrocards.

    The antidote to subsidies for driving isn’t to subsidize premium services for premium customers like Air Train, but to attack and remove those driving subsidies through, for example, congestion charging. Adding ten bucks to the cost of a cab from JFK to the Manhattan CBD will induce a lot of shifting to the Air Train.

  • kevd

    Oh, I know how construction was paid for. I also know that the fee is still collected. 
    (what it goes towards right now, I don’t know)

    What is the cost of a monthly Air Train pass for employees? It isn’t mentioned in the wikipedia article you so helpfully linked to, and I was unaware one existed.

    What I’m suggesting is to use fees paid by the relatively affluent (those who have purchased tickets) to pay for their own public transportation and public transportation for JFK employees, most of whom could not be called affluent. There is a reason that the majority of riders on the B15 are JFK employees and very few are travellers, and vice versa on the Air Train. Though you do see pilots and flight attendants on the Air Train. If the monthly Air Train pass were such a good deal, you’d see far more JFK employees there, and fewer on the B15 (I’ve never been on the queens train). Obviously a 2.25 ride from home to work for JFK employees would shift many to the Air Train. Employees cannot use monthly metro cards any more than travellers can.

    Of course, passengers who do not use the Air Train would also contribute, which I would consider fair as they have received a benefit in the form of reduced congestion on the roadways and taxi stands at the airport.

    The primary beneficiary of this are employees who, I believe should be granted that single zone fair that most other NYers enjoy. 

    Asking passengers to pay for their own transportation, and the transportation of those who run the airport through a charge paid only by passengers is obviously not a subsidy for a premium service for premium customers.

    I’m not sure if you misread me, or misunderstood. I was suggesting a revenue neutral scheme, paid for by air travellers travellers. How that could be construed as a subsidy for the affluent I have no idea.

    I understand your opposition to subsidised free trains for business travellers, of course. And I agree. But, that isn’t anything like what I was suggesting.

  • kevd

    Thank you Geck, I didn’t realize there was a covered bike rack at Lefferts.
    Still not sure I’d want to leave a bike locked up there for 2 weeks…..

  • Anonymous

    @kevdflb:disqus I too would like to know the cost of a monthly Air Train pass for airport workers. I couldn’t find it on the PA’s Air Train Web page. Frustrating …

    I’m happy to read that you’re not suggesting free Air Train service. When you wrote earlier that with a levy on passenger takeoffs and/or landings, “Air Train could then be made free for all instead of $5,” it sounded like you were suggesting precisely that.

  • kevd

    I very much am suggesting fareless airtrain service.
    I am also suggesting that service be paid for by fee charged to all departing and arriving passengers. Not that same as “free,” since passengers have just already paid it when they bought their tickets.

    I was unaware monthly passes even exited. The ridership of the remaining MTA buses serving JFK (largely employees) speaksto the greater affordability of that option, however.

  • fj

    From two fellows of The Rocky Mountain Institute

    Two Simple Ideas For Solving Our Addiction To Cars

    ” . . .  the good old fashioned American way: by inventing our way out . . .

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/16/463586/two-simple-ideas-for-solving-our-addiction-to-cars/

  • Danny G

    @Komanoff:disqus Is that $4.50 Passenger Facility Charge paying for the maintenance of internal roads, parking structures, taxi waiting areas and curbside drop-offs in the airports? If so, then driving/being driven to and from the airport is being subsidized just like the AirTrain is being subsidized. I suspect kevd’s point is to tweak the level of subsidies and user fees so that taking the AirTrain is a no-brainer, even if that means people take it to Jamaica and just hail a cab from there.

  • Anonymous

    Adams’s idea of giving tasers to transit workers is *crazy*. Crazycrazycrazy. A recipe for violence and mayhem–to say nothing of lawsuits galre. It’s the kind of thing that I’d expect a Republican to propose as a way of poisoning the whole transit system so it can be shut down.

  • Anonymous

    Grrr…in my last comment, “galre” = “galore”

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I too would like to know the cost of a monthly Air Train pass for airport workers. I couldn’t find it on the PA’s Air Train Web page. Frustrating.”I’m pretty sure it was $45 per month when introduced, but I don’t know if it has ever been increased.  I haven’t heard about any increases.The deal is this — the money the Port Authority makes on parking pays for the rest of the airport.  I heard it said that if the PA was forced to eliminate one transportation mode from the airport, it would probably choose the airplanes.  That’s the reason for the crazy pricing.

  • Anonymous

    @36056f95783f8cfb512e9d49d4187ce6:disqus I can’t vouch for exactly what is and isn’t financed by that $4.50 charge, but I’d wager that a much bigger part of the tab is going to pay off the $1.9 billion Air Train project. than the road and parking maintenance etc. stuff you’re worried about, which seems penny-ante by comparison. In any event, why don’t you and kevd do a little research and find out instead of just idly speculating?

    The Air Train works perfectly for me, a Manhattan resident living near the West Side subway. It won’t necessarily work for every trip by everyone else. Wouldn’t it make more sense to address the cab problem through a congestion charge rather than lowering the Air Train fare?

  • Andrew

    Don’t forget that most AirTrain riders already ride free – whether from terminal to terminal or between the parking lots and the terminals. The only turnstiles are at the two transfer points to the subway.

    The reason the old shuttle buses had problems is that the airport roadways are congested. So why do transit riders, specifically, pay for the expensive solution to those problems?

    I agree with @kevdflb:disqus that there should be no fare charged to ride AirTrain. There should, however, be a toll to use the terminal roadway system.

    @Komanoff:disqus Air travelers who ride transit to the airport are far less affluent than air travelers who drive or take cabs to the airport.

  • Anonymous

    @Andrew_J_C:disqus  How exactly are transit riders paying for the solution to airport ground congestion? Because they have to pay five bucks for the Air Train? What if the true cost per trip (capital, maintenance, operations, etc.) is $25? Would the $5 fare be too great then? Equivalently, would a $20 per trip subsidy be too stingy?

    You say that air travelers who drive or cab to JFK are far more affluent than those who take transit to JFK. Not more affluent but far more affluent. Can you back that up?

    Still, I think that’s a false issue. More important is that air travelers who take transit to JFK are more affluent than average NY’ers. Hence, charging for Air Train is “progressive” (income-wise). Put differently, who do you think should pay more, so that Air Train could be free? And what is your political path for bringing that about?

  • Andrew

    @Komanoff:disqus If not for congestion on the airport roadways, buses would have been quite adequate, and the gold plated AirTrain system would have been unnecessary. The only reason AirTrain was built was to bypass the congestion on the roadways.

    As I said before, most AirTrain riders don’t pay a fare – only the ones riding to or from the subway connection points pay. Also, drivers on the terminal roadway system don’t pay for maintenance or for the congestion they cause. Why do you think the entire cost of the AirTrain system should be borne by those who ride it to or from the subway? Meanwhile, who pays for that pesky terminal roadway system?

    No, I can’t back it up, but I think it’s pretty obvious that someone who spends $50 on a cab, or who owns a car in New York City, is probably far more affluent than someone who takes his luggage on the A train to Howard Beach. Do you disagree?

    There’s nothing progressive about charging a $5 premium to allow a subway rider to transfer to a glorified shuttle train, while allowing drivers and cab riders free access to that same train system and to the rest of the airport’s facilities. @kevdflb:disqus’s proposal, to spread the cost of operating AirTrain across all airport users, is reasonable, although I disagree with it. Charging only transit riders, while nobody else is hit with user fees for AirTrain or for any other airport facility, is not progressive.

    As I already said, “There should, however, be a toll to use the terminal roadway system.”

  • The Truth

    @kevdflb:disqus – you keep making the point about the cost for employees, but then dismiss a bicycle option to transfer to AirTrain because baggage is difficult with a bicycle?  Last I checked, most employees aren’t taking baggage with them on their way to work each day.

    And you may even find that if New York goes a little more in the direction of Portland, you could start seeing some cargo bikes parked there by people who brought their luggage with them!

  • Anonymous

    @Andrew_J_C:disqus There are so many confusions in your latest comment — e.g., your insinuation that I “think the *entire* [emphasis added] cost of … Air Train … should be borne by those who ride it to or from the subway,” that I don’t know where to begin to engage you.

    The best I can do in the space available is to say that what I believe to be Air Train’s m.o. — having *all* JFK departing passengers subsidize Air Train so that Air Train farepayers pay only a small fraction of its actual costs — works well. Indeed, I’m grateful to be able to ride Air Train to/from JFK.

    If your beef is that Air Train should be free, the burden is on you to specify who should pony up the money, and how that will get done politically (oops, I already said that).

    This is my last on-line comment in this thread. If you want to continue, please Google my last name to easily find my e-mail address.

  • The reason the old taxi vehicles had problems is that the flight terminal highways are crowded. 

  • I experience individually upset that the Air Practice is totally able to people who are decreased off by vehicles at Lefferts Blvd. Hug and Fly (or vehicle lengthy lasting there), but is $5 for those who do not have entry to a car or a companion to generate them. 

  • The reason the old shuttle buses had problems is that the airport roadways are congested. 

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