The Issue: The MTA’s claim that it needs to raise fares in order to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels.
The MTA should raise fares because fuel and other costs have increased significantly, as we all know (“MTA must up fares: DiNapoli,” Nov. 29).
However, the MTA should be given no additional funding until it puts a stop to farebeaters and gets labor costs in line with the private sector.
MTA employees can retire at 55 with health insurance provided at no cost. Which private sector employees enjoy these benefits? None.
MTA and all government employees are awarded these generous contracts by politicians rewarding their unions for campaign contributions and endorsements.
Retirement age must be raised to 68, only then can additional revenue for the MTA be contemplated.
Every problem with the MTA revolves around finances, but it’s always about expenses, never about revenue.
The MTA receives tax dollars from utility bills, taxi fares, bridge tolls, gasoline taxes, etc. And don’t forget the fare box.
The MTA doesn’t have a shortfall because it receives too little money. It has a shortfall year after year because it spends to much. What has the agency done to control cost overruns, reduce overtime, health benefits, pension costs and sick leave abuse?
It’s way overdue to look at the expense side of the MTA budget, rather then the income side. Let’s stop throwing money into this bottomless pit.
As a regular subway rider for over three decades, my take on MTA’s routine budget-balancing maneuvers is that it would be fair to say that the New York City’s subway-system upgrade, even at its best, is at a snail’s pace, whereas the fare hikes are coming at a much faster pace.
Appallingly, what pains me the most is the MTA’s regular fare-escalation exercise never reflects any palpable improvement in subway service, which happens to be New York City’s vital arterial network.
I think most riders, like me, are not looking for a state-of-the-art subway system, but deserve nothing less than a safe, reliable and affordable transit system which each one of us can take without any angst 24/7.
Atul M. Karnik
“The MTA’s Constant Crises” (Editorial, Dec. 2) is why the MTA should stop wasting millions of dollars on transportation-feasibility studies for future system-expansion projects, costing billions, that will never happen in our life time.
Multibillion-dollar deficits for years to come preclude such investments. Do not initiate the $6.9 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 or any other system expansion projects that are under consideration to be added to the MTA’s 2025-2044 20-Year Capital Needs Plan for future funding.
Each MTA operating agency must first reach a state of good repair for existing fleet, stations, signals, interlockings, track, power, yards and shops, and ensure most stations are ADA accessible.
The leaders of New York transit authority has their work cut out for them. It’s a twofold problem, with the first concerning the rising crime on every level, which scares away ridership.
The other huge problem is that the MTA wants to raise the cost of riding the train and bus. People do not want to pay to ride a system which is totally unsafe.
I rode mass transit more before the pandemic, now I rarely ride the bus or train because of crime. I can ride for free being a retired transit employee, but don’t want to take the chance of being a crime statistic. Imagine how paying customers feel going to and from work every day.
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