Thursday, April 9, 2009
New York MTA: High Prices for Bad Service
Weather has always been a good small talk topic. Now New Yorkers are adding another item to the list: the upcoming MTA fair hikes and service cuts.
As the name implies, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is in charge of public transportation in New York City, including the subway and bus systems. And like so many quasi-government agencies, they aren't doing a very good job.
Right on the heels of fare increases last year come changes even more drastic. First of all, my 30-day unlimited ride Metrocard is increasing from $81 to $103, and the M train that I take part of the way to and from work is being discontinued. Even worse, prices for students and the disabled are skyrocketing-- some by more than 100%.
Needless to say, this has many New Yorkers up in arms. Two of my co-workers, Meghan and Mellisa, are even enlisting locals to Boycott the MTA for 23 days-- or at the very least, on June 1.
They aren't the only angry commuters. Mellisa was interviewed by one of the free local dailies, am New York, for an article Wednesday about fair hike revolts on Facebook.
So what's my take?
I'm annoyed by the increase to the unlimited ride Metrocard, but the price is still no more (and maybe less) than the 60 or so gallons of gas I would guzzle every month in Ohio.
I'm more irritated by the loss of M train service to the stations I use. It's the quickest, most convenient way for me to get to and from work, and I'll miss that.
But what makes me angriest are the draconian fare hikes to people with disabilities-- like it isn't inconvenient enough for them to take public transportation.
Fortunately, there's still time to stall these changes. The state government is supposed to be considering an MTA bailout plan. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.