MTA Budget Cut 2

One of the readers of The Daily Commuter sent in a comment with a link with the latest update of the MTA budget cuts. For the article, click here.

Although I appreciate the NY Times thorough articles explaining the MTA’s side of the story, I don’t appreciate MTA using this as a PR moment to try to pull our heart strings so we don’t become upset with MTA inability to properly watch their money raising and delegate their funds to improve the system. MTA was crying that they didn’t get the expected tax revenues, and that NY State was not giving as much funding as they were expecting, and that construction cost was increasing as with everything else. First of all, construction cost is always on the rise so they should have anticipated that in their project planning. The MTA employs many people who used to work in the private sector of the construction industry. These people include former architects, general contractors, construction managers, estimators, project managers, etc. I don’t accept that MTA was acting responsibly in budgeting their projects without referring to their in house employees, and/or consulting with private architects or estimators, or construction managers. And how can MTA make plans for improvements without really securing the funding for it?

And what gets me is that most people who use the trains and buses are using it because it is the least expensive way of getting around the 5 boroughs. So, when the gas prices continue to rise with, more and more people are turning to the trains and buses to get them to their final destination and then home. So when MTA starts to cry that they can’t afford to make the improvements they were set out to do, they are not going to get sympathy from the everyday commuter. Here is this great public transportation entity that has been collecting our money in order to use the buses and trains; we’re accepting of that. The everyday commuter understands that it takes money to operate and maintain the system. What the everyday commuter doesn’t understand and becomes frustrated and annoyed with MTA is that the increase in fares do not seem to be put toward improvements to either schedules, cleanliness and maintenance of the buses, trains,and stations. In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect. The trains and buses just keep getting dirtier each day, and there are constant delays or lack of service of a particular route.

And on top of the crying, many of the authorities at the MTA get very handsome raises! How about using that money to improve the trains and buses!?!

In the context of the authority’s financial difficulties, Mr. Sander was asked about the appropriateness of a raise he received this year that increased his compensation by $10,000, to $350,000.

Mr. Sander portrayed the raise as being in the best interest of the authority, saying that other transit systems paid their executives more. “Our ability to retain and attract talent is significantly at risk,” he said. “The reality is the salary structure for the M.T.A. is set in relation to my salary.”

The above quote is from the NY Times article.

How on earth is Mr. Sander’s raise “…in the best interest of the authority”?  Can you believe the nerve of this guy?  And he’s one of the people who expects the everyday commuter to understand the financial difficulties the MTA is going through?!!

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~ by thedailycommuter on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

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