Today’s Headlines

  • Ravitch: MTA Heading Toward Disaster Without New Revenue (News)
  • Sander: Lack of Capital Plan Funds Could Lead to Fare Hike (Post)
  • 2nd Ave Sagas Proposes Funding Alternatives to Pricing
  • How the City’s Assembly Delegation Would Have Voted (News)
  • Dinowitz: Death of Pricing ‘Huge Victory’ for Bronx Residents (West Bronx Blog)
  • Maybe Next Year for Pricing, Says Manhattan Assemblyman (Daily Politics)
  • Council Members Fear Pricing Vote Repercussions (News)
  • Developer Wants to Move Forward With Scaled-Back Moynihan Station (TRE)
  • Dyker Heights Asks DOT for Traffic Plan (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • Parking at the Hair Salon on ‘Official Business’ (Post)
  • They passed the budget right? And it is up 5% in spending. Does anyone know how much is allocated for mass transit and what kind of increase it is from last year’s budget?

    Also the much toted millionaire’s tax didn’t make it to the budget. After CP opponents kept pointing to that as a alternative way to raise funds for transit seems like it went down without much of a fight.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I don’t think the public understands the enormity of the financial situation,” said Ravitch.

    Right, because everyone, including the Straphangers, has decided it was in their interest to say the MTA had “hidden billions” over the years, those billions being money borrowed from the capital plan and a temporary spike in real estate transfer taxes.

    Well guys, you won — and people are convinced there is no need for anyone to make any sacrifices. As for me, I’ve convinced its too late and don’t want to throw good money after bad.

    “They passed the budget right? And it is up 5% in spending. Does anyone know how much is allocated for mass transit and what kind of increase it is from last year’s budget?”

    They cut state operating assistance to the MTA by $53 million, while keeping in place the practice of using some of the “dedicated” MTA taxes collected downstate elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Check today’s Daily News.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/04/10/2008-04-10_politicians_just_threw_us_under_train_st.html

    Hey Russianoff, the MTA has plenty of money right? You said so just a few months ago.

    Well what do you expect. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Americans are drawing down Home Equity Lines of Credit (and upping credit card balances) at an accelerated rate even though they cannot afford to pay back the money. They know that is the money they need to get by on now, and they are grabbing it before the banks take it away. We are heading for one hell of a crash.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Also, don’t give a single Assemblymember credit for being willing to vote “yes” unless they were out front supporters before the vote.

    The reason they now say they were in favor is they know drivers won’t be angry with them because they got their way, and fear being identified with opposition when the consequences come due. Millman & Brennan, among others, are opposed, either directly or via red herring. I read it here.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Look a little outside the livable streets world, and see perhaps the largest municipal bankruptcy since the great depression.

    http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a_.hdWe1xXmM&refer=home

    The largest county in Alabama in population has lots of variable rate bonds for its water and sewer system — just like the MTA. Rates soared, as you would expect when everyone is borrowing and no one is saving. No money.

  • The $53 million cut in MTA funding is almost the same as the $50 million increase in CHIPS funding. Coincidence?

    http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2008/04/boondoggles-state-budget.html

  • No surprise then, the State is continuing to put mass transit in danger.

    I know the MTA is far from the perfect organization, but you fix that by reforming or officially “nationalizing” the MTA, not cutting spending to an utility that is essential to make NYC work.

    The Queens pols in particular bother me in that they haven’t come out against this cut to mass transit. When I’ve met with many of then, or received replies to my letters, they all told me that we need mass transit improvements in Queens before CP could go into effect and they pushed the millionaires’ tax as a way to improve it. Well not only do we not get the millionaires’ tax, we get a cut in transit spending as well. When are the electeds going to show that they were anti-cp and not anti-transit? When are our city’s leaders going to show some leadership? It’s time to start supporting folks running against incumbents in primaries with our donations and time to clear out some of the deadwood in the Assembly and State Senate.