Today’s Headlines

  • Gulf Oil Spill the Worst Ever (NYT); Post: So What?
  • Two Kids on Bikes Have Been Killed in Separate Collisions Since Last Week (Post)
  • The Proof Is in the (Lack of) Speeding: PPW Bike Lane Has Tamed Traffic (Bklyn Paper)
  • DOT Has Officially Converted Most Defunct Bus Stops to Parking (Post)
  • Gelinas: Walder Should Be Asking Labor to Make Bigger Sacrifices (Post)
  • MTA Predicts 16 Million Fewer Transit Trips in the Year After Fare Hike (News)
  • Will 1.1 Billion People Like This? India Crowdsources Traffic Enforcement to Facebook Vigilantes (NYT)
  • Stringer, Rosenthal Call on DOT to Tackle Safety Nightmare at B’way and Amsterdam (City Room, NY1)
  • Hundreds of Cabbies and Livery Drivers Are Going to TLC Finishing School (AMNY)
  • How Hollywood Humiliates the Car-Free (Slate)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • alex

    According to the NY Daily News article, it is not 1.6 million fewer trips but 16 million fewer trips. At first I was going to post that 1.6 million is a drop in the bucket at ~4300 riders per day, which is a miniscule amount in the overall NY transit picture. 16 million is a little more signficant.

  • Josef Szende

    Gelinas compares $915 M in costs for riders and drivers to $203 M in costs for the union. Since there are far more commuters than transit workers this is not a fair comparison. For individual riders it might mean being more economical with travel but for workers this could mean the difference between surviving daily life or not.

  • MRN

    The loss of 16 Million ride[r]s is kind of a big deal, but to put that in perspective, that’s something like 2 less people per car. Your odds of getting a seat aren’t going to meaningfully change. It would be nice to look at detailed ridership data and determine what percent of those 16 million lost rides are ‘free’ rides with the introduction of non-unlimited unlimited metrocard. [FYI, 90 rides is a total joke. The MTA needs to reevaluate their entire fare system if they really want this 90-ride thing]

  • Larry Littlefield

    There is another group to be considered when it comes to sacrifices. Construction contractors.

    I read yesterday that the Flushing CBTC signal project will cost $483 million. That is the third signal project on the line — the interlockings have already been replaced, and that is generally the most expensive and complicated part of replacing the signals.

    If signal systems need to be replaced at the pace the MTA assumes, a project this size needs to begin each and every year. If this is what it costs, that is nearly $half a billion a year just to replace the signals. And if you don’t pay for it because you can’t afford it, the eventual cost doubles.

    New York City cannot afford this. The signal systems must be replaced at a fraction of this cost. These are supposed to be pilot projects. But if the next one doesn’t come in at half this cost or less, we can’t afford CBTC — even with OPTO.

  • Boris

    Josef,

    What do you mean by “surviving daily life”? Are you saying that a fired MTA worker won’t take another job that pays market rate, because it is beneath his dignity, and will starve instead? Also, I would venture a guess that MTA workers are paid more on average than transit users. Making minimum-wage earners switch from bus to car because of service cuts might be a serious hardship for them.

    I do agree though that the fare is still very low because of the savings and convenience of free transfers.

  • The NYCT fare is actually among the highest in the world. Stop beating the “free transfers” bit; free transfers are a standard feature of good transit operations, rather than some weird luxury.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The NYCT fare is actually among the highest in the world.”

    Really? I doubt it, but I would have to see the data if it existed. You’d have to adjust for the local average standard of living to make the fare comparable.

    Consider London. The Underground has fare zones, with the cheapest 1.80 pounds using an Oyster Card, the equivalent of $2.88. The longest ride is 4.20 pounds using the Oyster, the equivalent of $6.72.

    My wife travels there on business frequently. She tells me that comparing what people earn there to here, and what everything costs (much more, perhaps due to the VAT), people are poorer in London than in the NY area. But the fare is higher.

  • As far as Hollywood portrayal of transportation goes, I love the send-up of car culture in the opening sequence of Office Space, but of course the most dysfunctional character, Milton, takes the bus. The only guy who comes out ahead is the pedestrian.

  • Yes, London is one of the few cities with more expensive subways than New York. However, if you look at the fares in the major Continental European and Japanese cities, they’re usually lower than in New York. Tokyo is slightly cheaper, Paris and Milan are a lot cheaper, Berlin is a bit more expensive if you buy a single-ride but cheaper if you buy an unlimited monthly, Madrid is much cheaper except at the outer fringes of the system, Vienna has about the same single-ride fare but about two-thirds the unlimited fare, and so on.