24 June 2008

Why is the MTA always broke?

With gas at $4 a gallon the city's buses and trains are more mobbed than usual, right? So where's all the money going then? Who the fuck knows!

The MTA had previously projected it would end the year with a $300-million surplus, finance chief Gary Dellaverson said it's now on track to close out the year with half that amount.

The MTA's finance staff also hinted at cutting about $2.7 billion worth of renovation projects. Fret not, the LIRR - Grand Central connect and the Second Avenue subway won't be affected.

So why is the MTA always broke? Didn't they just raise tolls and fares a few months ago?! Only once before, in 1980 and 1981, has the authority raised fares two years in a row.

After the meeting, MTA chief Elliot Sander echoed comments he made in Albany last week - that another fare and toll hike along with service cuts are possible if things don't turn around or additional help doesn't arrive from Albany or another source.

I don't understand, ridership is up? MTA isn't adding any more trains, where is the money?!

People are crushed up against the doors on the 2 train so whats going on? Is everyone jumping the turnstyles? Are all commuters fare beaters? Impossible.With the sudden overcrowding due to high gas prices, show me the money!!!!

MTA chief Sander said the changes should not be viewed as "cuts" because most of the projects would be included in the next 5-year program for 2010-14. But subway advocates were dubious to say the least saying the MTA is notorious for putting stuff off and sweeping it under the proverbial rug.

Meanwhile Sander received a $10,000 raise a few months ago, increasing his salary to $350,000 a year.

Sander portrayed the raise as being in the best interest of the authority, saying that other transit systems paid their executives even more.

“Our ability to retain and attract talent is significantly at risk,” Sander said. “The reality is the salary structure for the M.T.A. is set in relation to my salary.”

The Governor recently announced the creation of a new panel to help find money to keep the M.T.A. afloat and running.

Remember that story from a few years ago when the MTA suddenly found like $30M behind a file cabinet somewhere? A few months back MTA said worse case scenario we'd $3 bus and subway fare by 2010. Weren't we supposed to have flying cars by 2010 ?

I think its time the MTA hire some ex-Wall Street execs (there sure are a lot of them these days) to fix the place from the ground up. No reason they shouldn't be turning a profit with ridership and fares all way up. This is pathetic.

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