Friday, January 09, 2009

MTA Uses The Environment To Get More Money Out Of NYers

As many of you probably know, the MTA is getting read to raises rates by 23 percent. If the state comes through and bails them out, it will only be a mere 8 percent increase, but that's still another knock at our wallets in the upcoming year. None of this is supposed to improve service, only keep it at the poor quality we get now (or worse). Now they are looking at even more ways of bringing in more money, one of which is an environmental appeal to those that use the MTA, whether by mass transit or by car.

From The NY Times:

The authority said on Thursday that it was considering a “green MetroCard” program that would let riders make donations to help pay for making its operations more environmentally sustainable. The program would also apply to commuter rail tickets and E-ZPasses.

The idea was among dozens of proposals in a $1 million report by a commission appointed by the authority to recommend ways to lessen the adverse environmental impact of its operations.

Under the program, whose details are still being developed, riders buying MetroCards or commuter rail tickets at station vending machines could tack on an extra charge in the form of a tax-deductible contribution for green projects, said Ernest Tollerson, the authority’s policy director.
If they actually make it tax-deductible that would be fantastic. Though my confidence in them to do that is slim to nil. Now if they'd actually use those funds to "green" the system, I find that to be next to impossible. The MTA has always set money aside from one project to contribute to another or just a simple transfer to their general fund. If they truly wanted to make our mass transit more fuel efficient, they'd do it from their budget and not ask straphangers for more cash than they already demand of us.