Saturday: MTA to Liven Up Public Hearings

public_meeting.jpg

Next Saturday the MTA will be running a town hall-style meeting to take public input on various fare and financing options. The latest issue of Spotlight on the Region sums it up pretty well (as does the photo above):

If you are tired of public hearings where outraged citizens stand at a microphone and rant at a dais of yawning officials, you are not alone. Apparently the folks on the other side aren’t happy either, so they are doing something about it.

For the first time in a long time, the MTA is taking a different approach to seeking public input about proposed fare and toll increases by offering an interactive workshop in addition to the traditional public hearing format.

Modeled after successful "town hall" – style events such as Listening to the City, which drew 5,000 participants to discuss post-9/11 plans for Lower Manhattan, the MTA’s public engagement workshop aims to seek input from riders who want a more informed, meaningful process about fare options and rebuilding priorities for the future. The workshop will lay out the challenges the agency faces and encourage a healthy discussion of options and issues.

If you want to take part in this new style of public input, sign up now and show the MTA there is interest in taking a new approach. Participation is free, but space is limited to 300 seats and pre-registration required. Here’s how to register:

Saturday, November 17, 2007
10:00 am – 1:30 pm (registration begins at 9:30 am)

New York University – Kimmel Center KC Rosenthal Pavilion, 10th Floor

60 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012

EVENT REGISTRATION
Online: www.mta.info/workshop/

Phone: 212-878-7483


Photo: Finstr/Flickr

  • Just to add a bit of detail about how this workshop will function:

    We expect to make three presentations: the first will be a financial overview given by Lee Sander, the second will be a presentation about the two fare options we have proposed, and the third will be a description of what our next capital program might look like and should include a poll of what people think the MTA of the future should look like. After each presentation, there will be an interactive session. People will be seated at tables and each table will have an outside, non-MTA facilitator to foster a conversation that will seek participants’ thoughts, feelings and reactions to each presentation.

    We hope to get a better sense of what people’s preferences and visions are for the MTA today and tomorrow. We’re hoping to have representatives at the workshop from all boroughs and suburban areas served by the MTA, and we are hoping that this workshop will provide us with particularly useful ideas and insights from a group of engaged people who care about transportation. The results of this workshop will be presented as documents to the MTA board members along with transcripts from the eight fare hearings and copies of all e-mail and written comments.

  • Wait, so people can’t just go and gripe in a vaccuum anymore? They have to actually put themselves in the shoes of Lee Sander and consider all the different trade-offs?

    You mean no more: “I want more service (on my line!), a lot cleaner stations, a happy transit union, a fare decrease and lower taxes, especially a gas tax cut since fuel prices are rising and my credit cards are maxed out. Do you know how much it costs to live in this town?”

    Just make it all happen MTA. 🙂

  • Steve

    They begin these public hearings with the announcement that no pictures may be taken. The picture in the post shows you the reason why.

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