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subway train coming into stationThe subway, bus, and commuter train systems in NYC all fall under the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). The very same MTA is projecting a 2009 budget shortfall of $1.2 billion. Unless other revenue sources are found, major service cuts and 50% fare increases are planned.

Our pathetic excuse for a mayor, Michael Bloomberg has offered nothing of any constructive value to deal with the crisis. If it doesn't involve massive government handouts to his extremely wealthy friends, Bloomberg isn't interested. New York City desperately needs leadership on a transportation crisis that will create greater economic inequality and increase CO2 emissions.

Comptroller William Thompson actually is offering a possible solution, showing leadership that hizdizzzoner won't. From AM NY 11/23/08:

To help fill the transit agency’s expected $1.2 billion deficit next year, Comptroller William Thompson proposed yesterday creating a new vehicle registration fee to generate about $365 million in new funds for the MTA.


“Instead of asking subway and bus riders who can least afford it to dig deeper into emptier pockets for less service, we need imaginative ideas that will ensure that those who benefit from a healthy transit system pay their fair share,” Thompson said at a news conference outside Grand Central Terminal.

Thompson, who is running for mayor, proposed adding a weight-based vehicle registration fee that would raise $100 per vehicle weighing 2,300 pounds or less plus nine cents for every extra pound.


The annual fee would also be an incentive for people to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and could be coupled with a parking-zone regulation that only allows city-registered vehicles to park overnight, he said.

The comptroller’s office said a similar transit-funding registration fee exists in Seattle. Transit advocates commended the plan and urged the Ravitch Commission and lawmakers to approve it.

It turns out that NYC does less than the rest of the country to encourage people to fight Global Warming by taking public transportation.
“The share that riders pay of the transit’s systems cost is going to go up from 69 percent which is the highest by far in the nation already to 83 percent, putting a hard burden on the riding public,” said Straphangers Campaign staff attorney Gene Russianoff.

Another idea being proposed by New York City Council Members Eric Gioia and David Yassky is for the MTA to move out of its pricey offices in Manhattan to less expensive real estate. The MTA could then rent out their Manhattan building and make money to be used to pay for mass transit.

Bloomberg is showing the lack of leadership and interest in public affairs of a typical lame duck, even though he has faced massive public condemnation for strong arming the violation of voter passed term limits through the City Council. The Mayor's office has been an expensive toy for Michael Bloomberg, one he has been willing to pay tens of millions of dollars to purchase the past two "elections."

Those of us who live in NYC are paying the real price.

Photo: Annie Mole




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