Weiner’s Transit Plan: [This Space Intentionally Left Blank]

weiner_1.jpgPhoto: Ben Fried

Minutes after the Ravitch plan press conference wrapped up this afternoon, Anthony Weiner held court (briefly) on the sidewalk outside the state office building on 41st Street and Third Avenue. Here, in bullet point form, are some choice quotes from the man who would be the next mayor of New York:

  • The Ravitch Commission offered "the same old answer of tax and tax and tax again." He was pressed repeatedly to suggest alternative funding sources, but did not even mention an increased federal contribution, as he has in the past.
  • He called instead for greater financial transparency ("Let’s open the books of the MTA") and efficiency ("Cost-cutting has got to be part of the discussion"). The Ravitch Commission concurs that the MTA should be more open about its finances and smarter in its spending, while also noting that "we do not believe that the budget deficit can be eliminated solely through administrative and managerial actions. Nor can the budget be balanced through major reductions in service."
  • "Who is the MTA Board? And why is so much of our future outside the hands of the voters?" he asked. An hour earlier, Ravitch had told the press that the process of increasing the fare had become "a political circus" that "produces distorted results. Putting off fare increases has been a contributing factor to where we are today."
  • "This document wasn’t even available on the internet." When a reporter pointed out that the plan was, in fact, available on the internet [PDF], Weiner said something to the effect that it was unfair for one class of people (policymakers and the press, supposedly) to have access to it before the general public.
  • "The city and state have spoken loudly already." If Weiner is referring to congestion pricing, the city has approved the idea, and the state legislature did not deem it necessary to stake out a position in a public vote.
  • "Ravitch is basically an MTA insider. We need some outside voices." We’re about to hear a whole chorus of those.

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