Caption Contest: Re-name This Foursome

four_amigos.jpg

Hat tip to Liz Benjamin at the Daily Politics for this snapshot of four state senators who’ve helped concoct a stopgap, toll-less MTA funding plan that does nothing to address the imminent decline of New York’s transit system. Lest they be accused of completely shortchanging the future, they say maintenance and expansion can be taken care of next year, by raising personal income taxes throughout the 12-county MTA region. Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is calling it all "sound practice." Politicker’s Jimmy Vielkind has more from Smith.

The grinners, from left to right, are Carl Kruger, Ruben Diaz, Sr., Pedro Espada, Jr., and Hiram Monserrate (yes, that Hiram Monserrate). When these men held the Democratic takeover of the Senate hostage, they styled themselves the "four amigos." Now that they’ve done their level best to hamper investment in subways and buses, all to preserve a free ride to Manhattan for the car-driving minority, I think it’s time for a new nickname. Something to do with horsemen, perhaps?

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The Four Stooges

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OK, we have a winner of yesterday’s photo caption contest. Democratic State Senators Hiram Monserrate, Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada, Jr. and Ruben Diaz, Sr. will henceforth be known as "The Fare Hike Four." While we’re at it, we figure if the State Senate is going to treat New York City’s transit riders like clowns and […]

Doomsday Transit Cuts, District by District

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Barring a viable MTA rescue plan, the 140,000 transit riders in Ruben Diaz. Sr.’s district will lose the Bx4 and the Bx14 If you’re wondering how MTA doomsday service cuts will affect you, you can now look them up by state legislative district and ZIP code, thanks to new maps from the Regional Plan Association. […]

Pedro Espada’s Student Fare Fix: Toll the East River Bridges

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No, it’s not April First. The Daily News and the Times-Union report that the Bronx pol who played a critical role in derailing bridge tolls last spring has proposed, yes, tolling the East River bridges. Espada’s office says that more than $500 million could be raised annually from two-way $2 tolls on the East River […]

Andrew Cuomo Can’t Ignore Transit in 2012

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New York City transit riders might have taken some small measure of satisfaction from the sight of Carl Kruger resigning from the State Senate earlier this week. Pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, Kruger became the third member of the “Fare Hike Four” — the gang who killed a 2009 plan to fund transit by […]

Will the Fare Hike Four Face Pro-Transit Primary Challengers?

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Last week we profiled Igor Oberman, the challenger gunning to unseat State Senator Carl Kruger this September who’s made support for transit, including bridge tolls, a centerpiece of his campaign. So, what’s going on with the other three members of the Fare Hike Four — Pedro Espada, Rubén Díaz Sr., and Hiram Monserrate. Their anti-transit […]

Give Espada and Monserrate the “Oil Slick” Award

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It would be nice to shame every member of the Fare Hike Four, but we’ll settle for the two on the right. Thanks to the folks at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign for pointing us to this excellent survey from EPL/Environment Advocates. State Senators Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate are finalists for the "Oil Slick" award, […]