Tuesday, March 25, 2008

M.T.A. Can't Deliver On Anything

New Yorkers have been paying increased prices to ride the subway for almost a month now and none of the promises made by either the Mayor or the M.T.A. are going to come true. We fought tooth and nail against their quest to pile on the burden of commuters. They countered with saying sweet nothings like shorter wait times on the 1, 4 and 6 and more trains on the G train. Ultimately the people's campaign to stop the M.T.A. failed, approved by our ex-Governor. Yet we were supposed to get better service, and now that is not happening.

From The NY Times:

The postponed service upgrades included plans to add more frequent service on the G line in Brooklyn and Queens, extending B and W service on weeknights to 11 p.m. from the current 9:30 p.m., and shaving one or two minutes from waiting times for evening service on the 1, 4 and 6 lines. The M.T.A. had also said it would create a new bus line, the M13, from the Lower East Side to East Midtown, and would extend the B71 and B77 buses from Brooklyn via the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel into Manhattan, where they would go to South Ferry.

Officials said the upgrades could still be approved in June if the authority’s finances recovered.

They had previously warned that the beefed-up service would only be approved if the authority produced healthy financial results in the first three months of the year.

But the authority revealed today that the money it receives from taxes on real estate transactions had fallen significantly in February and March.

Gary J. Dellaverson, the chief financial officer of the authority, called the economic outlook “gloomy” and used words like “frightening” and “dramatic” to describe the fall in real estate-related revenues.

Yeah, the economy is definitely frightening, I'll agree to that. Yet to rely on that heavily on real estate revenues seems absurd. It would be like basing your retirement security on commodities. Perhaps if the M.T.A. would manage their money more efficiently, we wouldn't be in this mess...and they wouldn't have to rely on their riders to bail them out every couple of years with fare increases.