Tuesday’s Headlines: Sorry, Rodneyse, But Congestion Pricing is Passing Edition

The story of the day was Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s announcement that he had lined up enough votes to pass Gov. Cuomo’s congestion pricing plan to raise billions for the subway system (sorry, Assenbly Member Bichotte). Streetsblog played it straight, as did NY1, the NY Post, the NY Daily News and amNY. Meanwhile, the Times put a broadly historic spin on it (hey, we used “historic” in the lede, too!). And the Wall Street Journal looked at the broader economic impact congestion pricing might have.

The mayor will be in Albany on Tuesday, presumably pushing the plan.

And now the rest of the news:

  • Speaker Corey Johnson leaked his bus rider survey results to NY1 rather than to Streetsblog — but maybe because the “news” was very much “olds”: Bus riders are disappointed. Very disappointed. Only six percent said they were satisfied (who are those six percent? Are they all named Job?). The NYDN‘s Clayton Guse focused on subway riders (only three percent of them are satisfied).
  • Meanwhile, the MTA claims that 20 percent of bus riders are evading the fare. Well, of course no one’s paying the fare — didn’t anyone read Corey Johnson’s report? (amNY). Double-duty Guse also played up the one-in-five number (NYDN). So did Nolan Hicks at the NY Post. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal and Politico focused on NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s call for cops on buses to enforce fare beating. Hmm, we wonder what routes the NYPD will focus on (anyone see that old Stop-and-Frisk patrol guide lying around anywhere…).
  • Hard-working Hicks also punched out a story about declining subway ridership, despite improving service. (NY Post)
  • We spotted Jessie Singer’s tweet on Monday morning when the MTA decided that rush hour was the perfect time to paint a subway station. The agency later admitted its foolishness — and Gothamist turned into a story.
  • Cop chase mayhem in the Bronx injures six. (amNY)
  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m about as pro-fare beating as I am pro-tax evasion, pro divorce and family break up, pro child neglect, pro business fraud. I guess that makes me an outlier. Which is why I once wrote this:

    “Aside from lobbyists who are just out for a dollar, politics appears to be driven by two different concepts of the word “freedom” that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, one good and the other (for lack of a better word) evil. The good freedom might be called freedom of identity, or of lifestyle. For a brief period after World War II, many Americans believed that if you didn’t look like, act like, think like, and live like everyone else, then you shouldn’t be accepted. The idea of America as a land of social conformity is mostly gone, but politicians can still get elected by manipulating 35 year old resentments with tribal appeals to groups of people, and the invocation of “values” issues on which they have no intention of changing anything. Sadly, tribal politics determines how many people vote, among those who vote at all. They are suckers.”

    “The evil idea of freedom is freedom from responsibility, which has both a “liberal” and a “conservative” version, depending on which responsibilities one does not want to meet. Liberal Democrats have sought to attract votes by telling the poor and not so poor, the old and not so old, the sick and not so sick, and others that they do not have personal responsibilities to work and earn their own living, or to take care of their family members. To knowledgeable critics, their excuse for irresponsibility has been “social realism, ” the assertion that this is the way people live today (because they are free to live that way) and government programs, paid for by someone else, must limit the damage. And they have cultivated a sense of entitlement to assistance, causing recipients of public benefits to feel anger at anyone who dares to make demands on them in exchange.”

    Conservatives and Republicans have sought to attract votes by telling the better off that they do not have social responsibilities to their communities, to the less well off, to the rest of the world, and to the future, particularly with regard to taxes and debt, but also with regard to the environment. To knowledgeable critics, their excuse for irresponsibility has been “economic realism, ” the assertion that the affluent are self interested and mobile, and if you make demands on them for the benefit of others, or for the benefit of the future, they will take their assets and go elsewhere, leaving you worse off than before. They also cultivate a sense of entitlement, telling the affluent that their position of privilege is the result of their own moral superiority, not social advantages or luck or (as the business scandals show) worse, and that they do not owe anything to anyone in exchange for it.”

    “So with Donald Trump, lets get rid of the pretense that the Republicans are actually in favor of even personal responsibility. And for New York’s Democrats and social responsibility? Hey, this ain’t Sweden. All those fights over tribalist issues are there to distract people from what is actually a Generation Greed consensus.

  • I take several busses during the week. People not paying the fair is pretty common.

    And neighborhood doesn’t matter.

    Suits, kids, elderly, bums. I’ve seen them all just hop on board and keep walking to a seat.

    In some parts of the city folks just go in through the back doors. The drivers driver’s say nothing ( smart move ).

    But the reason isn’t just cost. Unlike other cities you can’t pay on the bus unless you have exact change and no bills. I’m sure someone got paid for that advancement.

    Cops on the bus? Cultural disaster and waste of money.

    I have no solution, but I do know the city figured out how to charge me for running red lights and tolls without putting a cop on every corner. Just figure out a way to bill folks. Seems like a practical use of the city’s facial recognition database.

  • ortcutt

    I have to say that at least in Queens the bus system seems to have improved. The frequency at least seems higher and the bunching has decreased. Buses that used to be complete garbage like the Q69 seem usable now.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The can still fine people. But I saw on TV today that NYCT asked DeBlasio’s NYPD to actually put some plainclothes officers on the buses and actually do so, and they essentially said no.

    Drivers don’t want to pay to privately use the scarcest street space in the country.
    The rich got their Trump tax cuts.

    The Democrats are proposing a tax cut for seniors, and higher Social Security benefits for today’s seniors, paid for by a big increase in payroll taxes phased in down the line…after Generation Greed has retired.

  • AMH

    Is the “head of MTA Transit” the same as the “NYC Transit president”?

    “People don’t give a damn about their fellow passengers,” Charles Moerdler said, as he walked past the subway station to board his private car parked illegally in a bus stop.

  • Reggie

    I ride buses too and really question the 20 percent figure; it doesn’t seem to me to be nearly that high. Drivers not being confrontational is one thing, complicity is another. I am always amazed by the riders who board, say something softly to the driver, and then are granted permission to ride without paying. Once, the three passengers in front of me all rode for free, prompting me to say to the driver, “I’m actually going to pay.” He laughed, perhaps at and not with me.

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  • If I happen to cross paths with Ms Bichotte, I won’t run her over with my bike. Instead I am just going to gloat about congestion pricing and laugh my ass off.