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Monday’s Headlines: Fareness on the MTA Edition

What do you want from it? Photo: David Meyer

The big news today is that the MTA's "fare-capping" pilot finally goes into effect. How many people will take advantage of it is a whole 'nother question.

As the transit all-star team of Clayton Guse of the Daily Newsuh, Kevin Duggan of amNY and David Meyer of the Post reported in their fare-capping curtain-raisers, users of the MTA's OMNY pay system will get free rides once they've taken 12 rides in the same week — meaning you need to make your regular commute, plus throw in another two trips during the week, and every ride after that for the rest of that week is free.

Given how few people are commuting to an office five days a week, it's unclear how many people will benefit. But the OMNY approach has one benefit over unlimited weekly Metrocards — because with Metrocards, you have to pay upfront for rides you may not end up taking.

The MTA made an instructional video that reminds riders that they need to "tap in" with the same card or device every time or else the 12 rides will be spread out over multiple devices:

So enjoy the rides, New York.

In other news:

    • The Post did a deep (and a bit overbaked) take on Manhattan's crumbling cobblestone streets. We agree that the city needs to maintain these historic roadways better, but the implicit suggestion of the Post's story was that the roadways needed to be paved over so drivers can have a better time of it. That's a non-starter. Repaired cobblestone streets in DUMBO, for example, are great for pedestrians and cyclists.
    • Gorillas, the fast grocery delivery service, is making some changes that might even include the option of having customers come to the "dark stores" to pick up their own food. (NY Post)
    • The City offered the latest look at the mayor's crackdown on homelessness in the subways. The Greg B. Smith story opens with a harrowing first-hand account.
    • Looks like the 28th Precinct in Manhattan is making a play for a slot in our annual March (Parking) Madness bracket. (Patch)
    • The "Ask the MTA" feature in amNY looked at bus-bunching.
    • In case you missed it, a cyclist was killed when he hit his head after falling from his bike because of a badly maintained roadway in Queens. Only Streetsblog covered the death with any intensity (the Daily News ran the incomplete NYPD press release), and even followed it up earlier today.
    • Patch rewrote a flawed TomTom press release, which David Herman took down beautifully on Twitter:
    • Also in case you missed it, The City looked at the city's efforts to crack down on noisy cars, including mentioning a pilot program by the Department of Environmental Protection to use "noise cameras" to automatically ticket offenders. Even if such a scheme works, wouldn't massive pedestrianization of many city streets be much better?
    • Also, we'd be remiss if we didn't recommend that you read Friend of Streetsblog Christopher Robbins's top-notch piece about psychedelic drugs — and the death of one particularly enthusiastic user. (NY Mag)
    • From the assignment desk: Today at 11 a.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, transit-friendly electeds will join Riders Alliance and other members of the Bus Turnaround Coalition to rally to relaunch the citywide "Better Buses" campaign. We'll be there.

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