Today’s Headlines

  • Bleak MTA Finances Will Force Service Cuts, Fare Hikes Sooner Than Expected (NYT)
  • Highway Lobby Wants $544B in Next Federal Transpo Bill (Traffic World via Car-Free USA)
  • Fighting ‘Overdevelopment’ Is No Way to Cure Congestion (Streetsblog LA)
  • OPEC May Attempt to Prop Up Oil Prices (NYT)
  • NYC Stadium Builders Get IRS to Sign Off on Tax-Free Financing (TRE)
  • Downtown Brooklyn Boosters to MTA: Sell Building Above Jay St. Station (Bklyn Paper, Brownstoner)
  • NJDOT Helps Cities Make Safer Routes to School (MTR)
  • Transit Champion Challenging Anti-Urban Nut in Minnesota House Race (Yglesias)
  • Orange County Residents Vote Without Leaving Their Cars (Yahoo)
  • Larry Littlefield

    RE: “Bleak MTA Finances Will Force Service Cuts, Fare Hikes Sooner Than Expected”

    Now instead of saying no service cuts, they are saying drastic service cuts. We’ll be paying debts, but capital spending will stop.

    In addition, someone wrote in on another blog that the MTA and TWU are going to agree to drastically lower wages and benefits for (less motivated, less qualified) future hires, to pay for the rich and getting richer pensions employees with senority receive.

    Everyone needs to ask themselves — what were you doing when the deals were done over the past 15 years, and our future was destroyed? Celebrating the decrease in fares relative to inflation?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Most of your generational analysis is valuable Larry. But why don’t you wait until an actual deal is done before you start passing off the generational issues as something that is driving up fares, down service and destroying the capital program. If there is a pension enhancement done, and many people think that is a joke in this round of negotiations, you will have plenty of opportunity at that time to slap it around.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “But why don’t you wait until an actual deal is done before you start passing off the generational issues as something that is driving up fares, down service and destroying the capital program.”

    The pension enhancement already happened, in 2000, with an additional payback to those with seniority after the strike.

    What is coming, I was told, is a REDUCTION in wages and benefits for FUTURE employees now that the MTA is bankrupt, to offset those unfairly rich pensions.

    Along with sky-high fares to offset the low fares of the past.

    And maintenance cutbacks to pay off debts from the past.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    That may or may not happen so why don’t you wait until it actually does before criticizing it. What happened eight years ago as a function of legislation in Albany is really not all that relevant to negotiations this time out. Lower wage and benefit tiers to “pay for” historic legislated pension enhancements is really sort of a voodoo doll for you to stick pins in. If all you are looking for is “I told you so” credit, the credit is yours but nonetheless irrelevant to this round of negotiations. Pensions costs carry over time, you have correctly divined that in your many posts on the subject. But in this case throwing bricks at an agreement that has not and probably will not happen can only serve to muddy the already unclear waters.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “If all you are looking for is “I told you so” credit, the credit is yours but nonetheless irrelevant to this round of negotiations.”

    I’m not looking for credit. I’m howling at the moon at the way the generations in charge have sucked all the life out of the future, and hoping someone can come up with some way to make them give some of it back.

    I’d rather have the MTA shut down now, when some of those responsible are still around to feel it, than have a managed disaster designed to accelerate when they slink out of town.

    Meantime, I’ll keep riding a bike and try to convince others.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    They already slunk out of town. Methinks you doth protesteth too much. Enjoy the ride.