Thursday, March 19, 2009

As State Senate Stalls, M.T.A. Gets Ready To Increase The Fare

In less than a week, New Yorkers could be facing the hard reality of a $2.50 fare and a monthly Metrocard of over a hundred dollars. The doomsday budget scenario is getting too close for comfort and while blame can be assigned all around, the majority of it belongs to the State Senate.

For months now, we've known that this problem has been coming. The M.T.A., as ethically flawed as they are (or as we think), has been warning us of their budget deficit for some time. Governor Paterson, as imperfect as he is, managed to call up Richard Ravitch to come up with a sensible plan. Then Sheldon "shrouded in secrecy" Silver signed up for Ravitch's solution more or less, accepting the ideas of tolls on the bridges that connect his district to Brooklyn. These quid pro quo'ers were aware enough to realize the gravity of the situation, but the State Senate is woefully behind.

Two weeks before the proposed fare hike, Majority Leader Smith questioned the M.T.A.'s deadline and was rightly admonished for it. This week, with a week to go, he came up with a half-assed plan that made absolutely no sense and angered everyone else in this state that is trying to come up with a feasible solution. The only people he has appeased are stooges like these guys. If Smith would stand up straight and act in accordance with his official title, he'd get those "Democrats" in his caucus to behave and go along with at least something that resembles the Ravitch Commission's proposal.

As for the complaints about the tolls, drivers that live in Monserrate, Kruger, Diaz and Espada's districts will be worse off when a reduced mass transit system adds more cars to roads and highways that are already clogged. These egotisitical senators must realize that our transit problem does not only happen to their particular district, it is a city-wide problem that has to be addressed as such. If they aren't willing to comprehend that, then Smith has the moral responsibility to ensure that all members in his caucus either get with it, or get booted altogether.