Today’s Headlines

  • Pricing Opponents Try to Make MTA Capital Plan a Talking Point (Newsday, NYT)
  • 2nd Ave Sagas Breaks Down the Plan
  • Bloomberg: I Won’t Run for President (NYT)
  • Anti-Pricing Bloc Gathering Strength in Assembly (Post)
  • Pro-Pricing PR Campaign Hits the Subways (Queens Courier)
  • More on 2nd Avenue Subway Lag (AMNY, Post)
  • Repairs in Store for Unsafe Station Platforms (AMNY)
  • Mayor Announces Fuel Efficiency Standards for Black Cars (NYT, Post, NY1, Sun)
  • City Council Approves Scaled-Down Green Carts Bill (Post, Sun)
  • New Yorker With Out-of-State Plates Says His Parking Tickets Are Bogus (News)
  • Larry Littlefield

    You missed the most important news of all.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aWJ4mkjT6G0Q&refer=home

    To save a few dollars up front while massively increasing risk of disaster later, a variety of NY State agencies issued floating rate debt with an agreement to pay vastly more if ever people wouldn’t agree to pay less. And that is exactly what is happening.

    I was shocked, and sick, when I found out how much floating rate debt the MTA had. HOW COULD THEY! THE BASTARDS!

    The same financial conditions that are jacking up debt service to the moon will also lead to investment losses for the pension funds. Meaning pension payments will soar from already sky high levels. MORE MONEY FOR NOTHING.

    THE BASTARDS! If you weren’t doing everything you could to stop this over the past 10 years, then you let it happen. It was all part of the deal to “save the fare.” “Everybody wins.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    And, oh my God, the Tier 1 in the MTA capital plan stops replacing the signal systems, and includes signal work that was supposed to be part of the 2005 to 2009 plan — Flushing CBTC and Dyre Avenue.

    THE IND SIGNALS ARE 75 YEARS OLD AND FAILURES ARE SOARING! Have any of you noticed? I certainly have.

    The whole thing is being shifted back into neverland. Since the signal system was “finished” in the 1950s, NYCT had been replacing them at a rate that would have replaced them after 60 years. Except for the fiscal crisis, when signal replacement stopped, leading to a potential disaster now.

    IN THE CORE PLAN THEY CUT SIGNAL REPLACEMENT TO FISCAL CRISIS LEVELS — INCLUDING STUFF THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ALREADY PAID FOR, AND BORROWING ANOTHER $8.5 BILLION WITH $10 BILLION UNFUNDED!

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I was shocked, and sick, when I found out how much floating rate debt the MTA had.

    Oh wow. Sounds like our friend Kalikow borrowed just as wisely as the people who are being foreclosed on out in St. Albans.

    Back in 2005 he gave a speech to the LIC Business Development Corporation asking us to back the Transportation Bond Act. I asked him whether it was wise to borrow so much money. He answered, “Do you have a house? Do you have a mortgage on that house?” I said “yes.”

    If I’d known I would have added, “… but it’s fixed at six percent!” Did he really expect rates to go down?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Oh wow. Sounds like our friend Kalikow borrowed just as wisely as the people who are being foreclosed on out in St. Albans.”

    EXACTLY! One of the worst aspects of the mortgage disaster is that in 2003 to 2005, when fixed rate mortgages were the lowest they will ever be, people greedily took/were conned into adjustable rate mortgages to save a few pennies in the short run. How could the mortgage industry have been so sleazy? How could people have been so stupid and greedy?

    Well guess what, I did the same thing — because the unaccountable politicians did it on my behalf! It’s like identity theft. I wanted to have a future. I wanted my kids to have a future. The bastards.

  • gecko

    Can only respond to Bloomberg’s Feb 28, 2008 New York Times editorial “I Won’t Run for President” with extreme praise.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

    Thank you!

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Here is some information about getting out of debt.

    If you want to rise above all of this and take control of your finances, you’ll need a different perspective and the motivation to act accordingly. So, the next time you’re about to spend money that you don’t have on something that you don’t really need, don’t waste your time feeling guilty (when has this ever worked anyway?). Instead, ask yourself two basic questions:

    1. If I can’t pay for it in full this month, what is going to change next month? Where will the extra income or reduced spending come from? Be specific.

    2. What fun, motivational one-year savings goal am I working towards?

    Note the bolded Question 1. Okay, congestion pricing is extra income, but borrowing against it is not going to help cut down our current debt.

    Interestingly, the MTA board and financial whiz Bloomberg don’t see eye to eye on that one:

    Aides to Mr. Bloomberg said revenue from the system should allow for a total of $6 billion in borrowing — $1.5 billion more than the authority proposed.

    The authority said it came up with a lower number because some congestion revenue should be set aside to cover operating costs, which would rise as it adds service to accommodate people who switch from cars to public transit once the system goes into effect.

    The mayor has said that all congestion revenue should go to support capital spending.

    Well, if the congestion revenue goes to pay off bonds for previous capital spending, doesn’t that count?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Right, and what is the Brodsky alternative? Not have CP so that parking permit holders are insulated from the result of decisions he voted for? The bastard.

  • Ace

    Sorry, If this is not exactly on topic or if you’ve heard it all before, but, Shouldn’t everyone be buying 10 or more 30 day unlimited ride metro cards before Sunday’s fare increase?

    I know it is a lot of money up front but won’t the cards be good for a year? Plus, If you are a Chase account holder you get $10 for every $150 you spend prior to 03/31.

  • Josh

    Ace, does that work? Do your 30 days not start counting until the first time you use the card? I was under the impression that the clock started ticking when the card was purchased, though I could be wrong.

  • lee

    they start when you first use the card, not when purchased, but I do not know about whether or not the current cards will still work once the fare is raised.