Straphangers were shocked to see that the M.T.A. was considering increasing the fare to $3 a couple weeks ago, so $2.50 isn't that bad, right? Paterson, on the advice of the Ravitch Commission see's an eight percent increase instead of a twenty-three percent hike. Obviously the lower number is better, but perhaps the first amount was just meant to dull our reaction to an eventual hike.
From The NY Times:
Gov. David A. Paterson said for the first time on Wednesday that he supported a financial rescue plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that includes charging tolls on bridges over the East and Harlem Rivers. The plan, he said, would substantially reduce the size of a fare increase the authority had sought.
Escaping service cuts is great news and tolls on the bridges in my view at least is decent news (though there has to be exceptions). As for a payroll tax, it is better than losing service, but these are hard times for businesses in New York City and should only apply to those that aren't struggling to survive (sans greedy Wall Streeters teetering on the edge).
The governor also spoke favorably about a recommendation in the plan for a tax on company payrolls in the region. The measures are aimed at helping the authority overcome a projected $1.2 billion deficit next year and a gaping multibillion-dollar hole in its long-term capital budget.
The governor said he was still reviewing the plan, but was “quite pleased with what I see so far.” “As an alternative to a fare hike,” he said, “I think it’s very viable.”The plan, developed by a commission appointed by Mr. Paterson and headed by Richard Ravitch, a former authority chairman, is expected to be made public on Thursday, though many details have already come to light. If it is enacted, the plan will allow the authority to eliminate a severe round of service cuts it had proposed for next year.
Getting away from the reliance from real estate revenue is a good thing in this crazy economy. Though what we really need to do is get the state and the national government to chip in to make our subway work without it working those that ride it every day.