A new plan under a different guise to help MTA

Another plan is currently being developed by a state commission appointed by Governor Patterson.  The commission is led by a former chairmain of the MTA, RIchard Ravitch.  Instead of 23% fare and toll increases across the board, Mr. Ravitch is proposing new bridge tolls along the East River and Harlem River.  This includes the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, 59th Street bridges along the East River; and along the Harlem River are the Willis Avenue, Macombs Dam, Third Avenue, Madison Avenue, 145th Street, University Heights, Washington, Broadway and Wards Island bridges.  The tolls would be paid via EZ Pass or snap shots of your license plate if you do not have an EZ Pass.

In order for the MTA to reap the benefits of new bridge tolls, control and maintenance of the bridges would have to be transferred from the city to MTA.  

The idea of bridge tolls along the East and Harlem Bridges will not benefit the MTA.  It just means another thing for MTA to manage and maintain and we all know how well their doing with the MTA transit system.  I’m against new bridge tolls whether it’s for curbing vehicular pollution (“congestions tax”) or staving off MTA fare hikes.  The financial gain will not help to offset city or MTA budget.  There’s always going to be some kind of fare increase as more and more people take mass transit to their destinations.  There’s always going to be a need for improvements, upgrades, maintenance.  The system is used daily and as a result it is going to need constant attention to keep it running.  MTA just needs to be fiscally responsible and manage their budget better.  These plans and proposals are not long term solutions.  They’re only discussed in the context of filling the current budget gap of $1.2 billion.  They claim that the new bridge tolls would generate $600 million dollars annually.  Anticipation of these funds is not reliable. I mean, MTA has said that the taxes they were expecting from some of their property didn’t come through to cover their budget and is one of the reasons why they’re in this financial pickle.

In addition to new tolls to help fill MTA’s budget gap, Mr. Ravitch is proposing and increase in payroll taxes paid by the businesses and not the employees.  The increase would be .5% applied to businesses within the 12 counties served by the MTA.

And there would still be fare and current toll increases but it will not be as much as what MTA was proposing.

To read more about this, click here.

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~ by thedailycommuter on Thursday, November 27, 2008.

One Response to “A new plan under a different guise to help MTA”

  1. The MTA is, in fact, being “fiscally responsible.” That’s why they’re forced to cut service and raise the fare. Our transit system is incredibly underfunded, and revenue from tolls or a congestion fee (unfortunately, neither are likely to come to fruition in any case) would be much more reliable than the real estate taxes it currently relies on.

    I’m amazed the MTA does as much as it does with the funds that it has – very few transit systems around the world would be able to keep theirs running with the limited funding the MTA receives.

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