Monday, March 16, 2009

Smith Decides To Get On The Ball For An MTA Bailout

Speaking of train service and mass transit, the fate of MTA's service and price of the fare hangs in the balance. The deadline according to the MTA officials is coming up a week from Wednesday and the State Senate has been dragging its' collective feet on bailing out the struggling transit authority. Last week Majority Leader Smith called the deadline "questionable" and accused them of holding us all hostage. Meanwhile everyone else was quite serious about implementing a bill similar to the Ravitch Commission's proposal and ensuring that the doomsday scenario does not occur. Smith looked foolish in the face of the seriousness of the matter, and now he's finally beginning to realize that.

From PolitickerNY:

ALBANY—After two weeks of public hemming and hawing on the issue of the M.T.A. bailout, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says he will present a plan to members this afternoon to plug the M.T.A.'s deficit.

Sources involved in formulating plan with Senate leadership said that central staffers worked on the plan all weekend, and are trying to keep it as much under wraps as possible so as not to be co-opted by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver's position is on the table.

"All I'm going to say is that it's good and I think will work for everyone," one of the sources said.

The rest of the article gives a timeline of the MTA bailout battle and is great for anyone that hasn't been following a possible fare hike and simultaneous service cuts for our mass transit system.

As for Smith, he's doing the right thing by realizing that the deadline is a hard date that needs to be adhered to so that straphangers do not have to pay extra and lose service. Hemming and hawwing will not get you anywhere with voters when they start to suffer the effects of political inaction. And for the other Senators that tried to block a bailout bill for the MTA, shame on them as well. Grandstanding does nothing for New York and only a small boost for the politician's already over-inflated ego.