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andee's world: Death to the MTA

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Death to the MTA

Well, the MTA are bending us over for the second time in two years. Lube up, New Yorkers -- it's another fare hike!

While we reach into our pockets to shell out even more of our hard-earned dollars for the suits at the MTA, let us pause and reflect on the last fare hike, which went into effect just two years ago, in 2003. The price for a single ride was jacked up from $1.50 to $2 -- the largest absolute increase ever for a single fare. This hike was supposedly instituted to fix a budget deficit in the MTA.

However, the numbers didn't add up and it was quickly discovered that the MTA were actually hiding half a billion of their dollars from public view in order to create the illusion of a deficit. They created a phony reason for sucking more money out of our wallets. And even after this disgusting and unforgivable deception was brought to light, ya know what the slimeballs at the MTA did? They raised the fare anyway! A big F-you to New Yorkers, a big ch-ching! for the MTA.

And weren't we all terribly surprised to find that, after the fare increase, subway service actually got worse? That's right, longer delays, more service interruptions, and, if you live in Brooklyn, even worse than that. My favorite is when they shut down the L train entirely for weekends at a time, completely cutting off the flow of commuters and consumers between Manhattan and Williamsburg.

If you work or live in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, this is beyond disruptive -- it's a slap in the face. If you're a business owner, it's devastating. Bars and restaurants in this part of Brooklyn who depend on incoming weekend traffic from Manhattan and elsewhere to pay their bills are basically screwed. And the rest of us can't get to or from Manhattan without either following a labrynthian alternate route which entails multiple transfers, bus rides and the JMZ subway line (which, to add insult to injury, always has service disruptions on the weekends) or taking cabs back and forth across the bridge (and who has money for that?).

As of a couple weeks ago, the weekly Metrocard now costs $24, which is seven dollars higher than it was two years ago. Who gets hit hardest by this? Working people. Rich folks don't use public transportation, we all know that. So, once again, let the poor folks carry the financial burden of lining the pockets of those at the top. Sounds alot like Bush's tax system, doesn't it?

So I wonder what the extra money will buy us? Gee, maybe we'll get, for the first time ever, a decent subway line servicing the east side of Manhattan? Or perhaps a train that connects the various sections of Brooklyn, so that we won't have to take ridiculously long and circuitous routes through Manhattan just to get from Williamsburg to Park Slope anymore?

I'm not holding my breath. As I write this, the MTA is about to shut down the L train between 8th Avenue and Broadway Junction for the whole weekend. I have a feeling we're gonna be paying more for much less, again.

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