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I have a whole lot of opinions about the MTA.
First and foremost: This mess is Albany's doing. They've underfunded the MTA for decades, and they don't pay anything anymore for student discount MetroCards. The City's contribution has steadily dropped. Basically, we have a public authority paying for student transportation, when that should be up to the city and state government.
Second: Why does the TWU deserve an 11% raise when the rest of the MTA's employees are getting pay cuts? I'm sure there are plenty of kind, hardworking employees in that union, but mention "TWU" to most New Yorkers, and they'll have stories about strike lines and station agents who are just plain nasty -- that is, when they're awake.
Third: The MTA needs to stop TALKING about improving efficiency and actually DO it. The riding public has paid the price for Transit's sloppy bookkeeping long enough.
The MTA Board voted 12-0 today to approve massive subway and bus service cuts. The plan eliminates 21 bus routes, two subway lines and phases out a program that gives public school students free MetroCards.
The MTA's new boss, Jay Walder, is trying to close a $383 million budget gap. Today, he vowed to work hard to cut wasteful spending at the agency. Walder said, "We need to take the place apart." What do you say?
The changes are scheduled to take place in the spring. Public hearings will be held before then. Do you plan on attending? Are the cuts approved today acceptable given the State's fiscal crisis? Do you believe Jay Walder when he promises to cut wasteful spending at the MTA? Where should he start?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
It is absurd to even hear how the MTA can even think of taking something that is vital to the continuation of education for many students whose parents cannot afford to pay for their childs' transportation to school. My son is a high school student and travels 1 1/2 everyday to and from school. The MTA provides metrocards for my son. Without this metrocard, many school children may not be able to attend due to their parents not able to afford the fare. Let's remember the fare hike not too long ago. We (the parents) are already taking another dent in our wallets from the MTA. Taking away our childrens' metrocards will cause a major disaster within the education limits. This is unacceptable. I am ready to protest this along with many other outraged parents. I am speaking for every mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, and last but never least, the children. We cannot allow them to be burdened with challenges that are beyond their control. A parent and a child should never have to decide between education or food, education or rent, education or jail, because many children will start jumping the train station turnstiles!
Far Rockaway, Queens
Some one at the hearing indicated that it was not the responsibility of MTA to subsidize students, but it was the responsibility of the B of E to provide transportation if required.
Among the things Jay Walder needs to address:
1. Remove the MTA from the student Metrocard funding controversy. The responsibility for that funding lies exclusively with New York City's and New York State's Dept. of Education, where the student Metrocards can be funded through the same part of their budgets that pays for school bus service.
2. Approach the bondholders and investment bankers to reschedule or forgive all or part of the interest payments on the massive $23 billion debt that is crushing the agency. According to the New York Daily News and the New York Times, the MTA collects over $5 billion annually in tolls and fares; However, they pay out $1.8-$2 billion of that revenue in interest payment. That can't continue if the MTA wants to remain viable.
3. Revive the plan to consolidate overlapping back-office operations among the subsidiaries of the MTA, originally championed by ex-MTA CEO Elliot Sander, but was dropped after he was forced to resign. There is no need for 7 sets of accountants, 7 sets of payroll managers, 7 sets of purchasing managers, etc. Consolidating those operations would save millions.
Pete from Manhattan
I am not surprised about the outcome of this decision it was a no brainer. Again they just keep jerking our chain. What is the purpose of having any meetings at all it never comes out in our favor at all and we still have not been able to see their books. I still want to know what happens to all of the money? Some of us can not attend the meetings in person for one reason or another.
The MTA is a racketeering operation stealing money from it’s rightful owners via taxation and then frittering it away. Every member of the management of the MTA should be prosecuted under the RICO act. If we turned the transit operation turned over to the Mafia it would be an improvement over the MTA. Organized crime has a code of honor. The MTA and the government officials involved in providing transit services to New York City do not.
Port Richmond, SI
HOW FREAKING DARE MTA!
I'm a mother of 2 teenage boys who go 2 school in staten island. Ur telling me that I will have 2 pay $13.50 a day so my children & I can go 2 school and work! HOW FREAKING DARE MTA!. that's $135.00 I will have 2 take out of my paycheck. HOW FREAKING DARE MTA! I ONLY GET PAID $9.50 AN HOUR! HOW FREAKING DARE MTA!
big mama rita
I watched the hearings this morning and while I am not a Chris Quinn fan I thought she brought up some good points and suggestions but it seems no one cares. Pity.
I do not think that public school student metrocards should be eliminated because crime will be sky high that will cause students to skip class, jump the turnstile for their arrest or possibly drop out of school. It is unfair to the public school students to ever phase out their student metrocards. We are living in difficult times right now where unemployment is now on the rise and people are struggling. I personally used to work for the messenger service company in lower Manhattan as a foot runner and I resigned due to the fact that I was being paid on commission not minimum wage per hour. It was very difficult for me with a disability because I live on limited budget and I am in desperate need of full time employment. I work part time for the free rush hour newspaper which I am sure you all know which one it is and the majority are public school students that take the newspaper I give them. Every student needs an education especially today. Please, don't phase out the student metrocards. I need my students. they put a smile on my face.
I do not plan to attend the MTA Public hearings only because you are wasting your breath. These cuts are absolutely not acceptable and I do not believe MTA Chairman Jay Walder to cut wasteful spending. Mr. Walder should start with his and his subordinates' salaries. They all make 6 digit figure salaries and do not understand the everyday citizens' problems. My opinion is that they are going to raise the fare to $5.00 one-way anyways so why not close the whole dam MTA system and everyone should car pool to school and work even if you have to wait hours on the bridge and in the tunnel.
The cuts suggested by the MTA board of directors are reprehensible. This group of "managers" should consider pay cuts to their exorbitant salaries for mis-managing real estate holdings such as the Jackson Heights station and Atlantic Yards. They should apply their capital budget towards expense.
Eliminating student Metro-cards would cost the average student-commuter $1000 a year. This is money that some families don't have, especially with multiple siblings attending school.
Gerry from Queens
It's amazing. Somehow it feels like we have been down this road before, and we will be traveling on it again soon. Words cannot describe the outrage I feel toward the way the working class are treated in NYC.
I have never attended a rally before, but I definitely plan on it.
Angry working mother in Midwood, Brooklyn.
ANOTHER FINE EXAMPLE OF DYSFUNCTIONALISM AT IT`S VERY BEST...AFTER WORKING FOR NYC TRANSIT FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS, I`M THOROUGHLY CONVINCED THAT I WORK FOR THE MOST CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT AGENCY IN THE HISTORY OF NY STATE, IT`S QUITE APPARENT THAT NONE OF THE MTA BOARD MEMBERS WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF THESE INSANE CUTS HAVE NEVER WAITED FOR A BUS OR SUBWAY AT 2am IN THE MORNING TRYING TO GET TO WORK OR GOING HOME...LET THEM WAIT FOR A BUS OR TRAIN THAT ISN`T COMING BECAUSE THEY VOTED TO CUT OR ELIMINATE THAT SERVICE....SURELY AFTER THESE CUTS TAKE EFFECT, THEY WILL BY SOME MIRACLE FIND A 200 MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS !!!
this is a joke, the mta claims a $383 million gap, yet the elimination of the student discount will generate $500,000,000. The is $1000 x 500,00 student, these duts are to punish the people and raise the fare, how is closing a station save money. There are no clerks so where is the savings. How can you totally eliminate service to St. John's College and Wagner College which is on one the highest hill and there no other public service.
In this time where we are facing a global crisis that requires every nation needs to commit to limiting CO2 emissions, I believe that mass transit is a critical foundation and should not have to be self-supporting. The government should and must support mass transit for the sake of the public and global good. Funds for mass transit must not be viewed as a bailout but as a vital service to support. And I do mean vital. New York City would not be New York City without the subways and busses that make it possible for the diversity of ages, incomes, and ways of life that contribute to New York to live. I've written to our senators and my congressperson to ask them to help NYC find the funds to keep all parts of the city covered and to allow schoolchildren, who have to ride the rails and buses every day, to continue at least discounted passes.
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
I am definitely attending a public hearing. These cuts are not acceptable at all. This is not a way to close the deficit why can't they consolidate like NJ transit does? I do believe him somewhat but this is outrageous. He should start by consolidating departments. Get public elections for the board plus let the people like us run. Get a student rider into the program make him or her get involved.
Andrew, Glen Oaks
I think that it is ridiculous that the MTA would rather risk the future of most NYC students than make their employees pay for their Metrocards. They are getting raises of 10%, so they are perfectly capable of paying their fares. The MTA needs a better excuse than saying the employees are entitled to free metrocards. It's not fair to pick at the most vulnerable.
THE GOVERNOR DID NOT DO THE RIGHT THING WITH THE MTA EXECUTIVE BOARD. THE MTA NOW HAS ACTED ACCORDING TO PUBLIC AUTHORITY LAW. THEY MUST EXACT THESE CUTS BECAUSE OF THE FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK STATE.
YOU CAN THANK ALBANY FOR THIS DEBACLE, AND NOT, THE MTA EXECUTIVE BOARD. I ATTENDED TRANSIT FORUMS ON STATEN ISLAND LAST JANUARY/FEBRUARY AND IMPLORED THE PUBLIC TO GET THE GOVERNOR'S ATTENTION. I GUESS HE HAS YOUR ATTENTION NOW.
STOP YOUR MOANING AND PICK UP A PEN AND WRITE TO HIM, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL HIS OFFICE AS SOON AS YOU CAN. OTHERWISE, START WALKING.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
WHAT! I am sure in the cut process there was no mention of salary reductions or revamping their offices! WOW free school except you can't get there! I am sure that the parents of the students attending public school have so much money that the would be happy to give it to the MTA OR THEIR KIDS WOULD BE IN PRIVATE SCHOOL. Balancing the budget by biting the hand that feeds you -- it's just a shame! Bring back Lee Sanders!
I saw a young student on the news that stated that he "Would not go to school if the students had to pay!" My concern for him is that of all the things in the world that he doesn't need to do is to use the fare crisis as a reason/excuse not to attend classes.
I just think that in a city as progressive as New York where new venues are being built all around us it just seems sinful to have luxury state of the art stadiums and state of the dump transportation. I happen to drive daily, but, I enjoy the fun pass to use on days that I make trips into Manhattan. I guess the "fun pass " will be the next thing to go. Like they said on Seinfeld "No Soup for YOU!"
I guess it is now "No free lunches and no free passes for the students. Sounds like the tail is wagging the dog around here?
Kathy from Throggs Neck da Bronx
With so many other areas they really could cut -Like half their Board who needs twenty people to talk and talk at such high pay checks I mean what else do these people do?? on the MTA Board? why didnt he make a decrease in pay for all the MTA across the board to all its workers after firing the twenty to fifty we seen on tv hanging out at our great expense?? These are horendous decisions- In other states school children eat and go to school for not half the expense Nevada all school students of any age can go get a student card at any check cashing place for 20.00 for the month yes they need Id in Nevada everyone has pic ID for all students in all jobs ? 3.00 for ID in elementary school with fingerprint - non-students can pay 30.00 for a month pass to travel any time, in all of Nevada dated for one month - then senior citizens have theirs- It boosts travel and tourism -wow and magnet buses are free -
Mr. Walder should start fixing the budget by cutting HIS salary. Has anyone ever noticed that when budget cuts happen, the ones on the bottom hurt the most. For as long as I can remember, the MTA has been in financial pickles. Besides Mr. Walder, his other colleagues can stand for a cut, as well. While we're at it, why is it that the MTA is reluctant to show its books.
deja vu recatativo this guy even talks funny. Is he a recent immigrant Ive heard it before and he resembles that Polish hit-man that the Gambino's used in Jersey- hes got crazy eyes and yu know theyre the window to the soul. Wheres our diminitive mayor with all of this. W'ere doomed in this state and city with such a paucity of talent. Stop free passes for all. Stop the Yuppie second ave boondoggle.
The MTA doomsday budget cuts will be disastrous to New York City to economy. Businesses will lose money everyday because of unreliable transportation. The Rider ship will go down because of the MTA budget cuts. If ridership go down the MTA budget gap get worse. The MTA doomsday budget will not help close the budget gap. MTA needs to think it over what damage it can course to New York York, before vote for the doomsday budget cuts.
The lack of the MTA to manage its budget and manage its service is not a reason to punish the legal citizens of NYC. Time and time again the budget is a huge surprise. Who is running the business over there, clearly no one.
Hearings will do no good. It is only grandstanding by those who wish to publicly masturbate. It is disgraceful and embarrassing that this city cannot effectively trains that basically travel in a straight line.
The truth is you easily eliminate budget issues by cutting salaries, cutting benefits like other businesses. If the MTA is serious, the will consider these options. The unions need to get real. Additionally, if the MTA wants to solve the problem, maybe they could multi-task. Time and time again I stop in the station and see workers behind the bullet proof glass who cant hear you anyway speaking on the phone about personal issues. Get people who want to work. Fire the deadwood. Trust me it is there.
I am shocked by the constant and baffling idiocy of the MTA
No i won't be attending any MTA hearings. Although it is a hearing, who is really listening ? ! Does anybody really " Hear " anything at these functions? !
But can they at least hear this one thing? I am getting tired of young individuals loitering in the turnstiles and around the turnstiles everytime i enter or leave many stations.
Jack --- West Side
Does anybody on the board live in any of the 5 borough's?
If the federal government can investigate athletes for steroids, then the MTA as a whole MUST be investigated!
I would go to the hearing but my train will get me there late.
Audi from Harlem
These public hearings are a sham. In the end the board will do whatever it wants. Look at the Rent guideline meetings It said it all
Pablo, lower East Side
The MTA is a joke they are pretty much like the 3 card monty guy on the street...what are they doing with the tax payer money? The MTA needs to be dismantled completely and remade with a more transparent structure. Too much corruption and waste is leading our students and disabled to be at risk...
i think its a disgrace what the MTA is doing to all new yorkers cutting services and takening away metro card from students. i think the state of new york should take over the MTA and do away with the board of directors.
Like I told you once before, until these people who run the MTA have the guts to show the public "documented proof" about their debt, then they all still come across as a bunch of LIARS! Years and years of raising fares and no improvements. That shows me how incompetent and deceitful this management is. I'd really love to see how many of these deadbeats would be fired already if the MTA were under different ownership!
So where's Mayor Mike, who puffs himself up as the "education mayor"? Oh yes, he's cruising windmills in Copenhagen with the other oligarchs, while his struggling city students (that he pretends to care for) so much are falling through the subway tracks. How come almost every other community in the country provides fee transportation for all their public school students? Ever heard of school buses, Mike? Disgraceful.
This is insane. It is obvious there is so much changes to take place. I do agree now Bloomberg should find a way to undertake the MTA along with the Governor. Those individuals have individual agendas after failing to manage their budget now they want to make cuts that make no sense. Certainly problems there that need to be addressed far from just the money.
Rob from Queens
Can you imagine watching the news from any other country with this
kind of foolishness? We are an international laughing stock!
Juan from Washington Heights is right. They do stage dog and pony shows, but we cannot let our participatory government erode any further.
I spoke at the Term Limits hearings and will be there with thousands of New Yorkers to speak up.
MTA - get it together!!
I really can't believe that the MTA can not find other fluff or excess management etc etc to cut.
Its simply one of the last things that the MTA should consider cutting.
The students are the foundation of the future of NYC and should be helped not hindered in getting the best education possible.
New York NY
It's a damn shame...to deny the already under priveledge less...when the well off continue to enjoy more.
I think its wrong to cut service period think they come up different way to get money to fix this
Is no one mentioning that the lack of metrocards kids is going to cost the the city more money via acs. Poor attandance will trickle down to more uneeded cases.
Why doesn't the MTA employees pay to use the subway instead of hurting children. MTA employees travel for free!
Why should the state give them more money? What have they improved and where is all the money going?
Sylvia, East Elmhurst
I drive a cab in the city of N.Y. and happen to know that Gov. Patterson put a 8.75% sales tax on all livery cabs,and charges each taxi fare50cents in yellow cabs,just to bail out the MTA so cuts and fare hikes do not happen. What is happened toall this extra money?
I am outrage, citizens would like to know where all the money the MTA is making, where the money is going! Having Public Hearing is just a show, they don't want to hear anything from nobody, they just care about themselves.
I will like to say to the MTA that they should never cut our subway and bus service and they should never take away student Metro cards. Some of our subways and buses are poor already. We need to expand our mass transit system to support all of our New Yorkers that are going to work, doctor appointments, school, shopping and along with others.
Tariq of Harlem
I think its time the MTA starts looking at the top of the food chain instead of the middle & the bottom. Start phasing out high paying high ranking positions. Also its time zero out the budget how is it that in the last 5 plus years they can't get it right. Stop with band aid tactics and do full on surgery. I watched the live feed this morning & when they started to blame the unions for the collapse of the system I felt like it was a slap in the face 2 all of their employees by calling them greedy when these are the folks who make the system work. Mismanagement of funds for so long is the cause of this problem we face now & the board & their managers are to blame & no one else stop passing the buck!!!
WHY ARE THE MTA EMPLOYEES GETTING AWAY WITH NOT PAYING THE FARE??? If one works in a grocery store, they don't get free groceries, if one works in a hospital they don't get free health care. To take away the free school passes and to drastically reduce the Access A Ride service is a disgrace!
These MTA board members don’t even use mass transit themselves. They have no real idea about how vital mass transit is to us regular folks in the City. It is a joke that they have this power over the system. They need to go!
The monsters disguised as students should not only pay full fare, they should pay more than the full fare for all the disruption, rudeness, and damage they cause.
Have you ever ridden a train or bus between 2 and 4 pm on a weekday—it's a nightmare. They push, shove, yell, curse, scribble graffiti, etc., and god forbid they should offer a seat to a senior or disabled citizen. On buses, they frequently sit in the disabled seats, and never move no matter how crippled an older rider appears.
Their parents should get failing marks for teaching their kids the rudimentary basics of politeness on public transportation.
We had to pay for passes when we went to school decades ago; maybe beside houses, cars, and other luxuries, people shouldn't have kids if they can't afford them. Stop whining.
Cutting the student metrocards is one of the most inconsiderate options the MTA could possibly take. I don't know how they could have voted 12 to 0 on such a proposal. Without metrocards, many students will only be able to attend their zoned schools, making schools such as the Specialized High Schools only suitable for those with a decent income or live nearby. This destroys opportunities for many talented kids who simply cannot afford to travel to other parts of the city.
The Transport Workers Union needs to protest these outrageous cuts -- going out on strike would be very appropriate!
While I am not surprised about the unanimous vote, I am surprised at how Albany isn't is being treated in all of this. Yes, the MTA hasn't been able to manage a budget for the 40+ years it's existed. That isn't a big secret and can't be ignored. However, the State of New York has treated the agency like the child no one wants to acknowledge and keeps neglecting. For years, Albany has been cutting funding to the MTA, not paying its fair share to riders and allowing the MTA to take on massive amounts of debts without any intervention whatsoever. The neglect from Albany has come home to roost, and now the MTA is near insolvency. It's easy for politicians to point the finger at the MTA, because they know that average citizens arent aware that these politicians are the ones to blame. If you want the MTA to be efficient, the State must truly intervene and give it proper funding, and also help fix the systemic problems this agency has.
The children should just ride free. Leave these children alone they got enough to deal with already.
As a parent it's sad to see what's happening with the economy, then to hear that cutting student metro cards is a possibility is frightening. What about families with a lot of kids? If attending school is mandatory then providing a way for them to get there should be mandatory as well. Here's a suggestion, bring back the paper bus passes, that way the only thing you have to pay for is the paper and printing. There has got to be an better alternative then virtually dooming the next generation.
If they take the metrocard from school kids they won't go to school that's wrong
the mta and bloomberg is making a huge mistske ....if students have to pay for their metro cards the dropout rate will skyroket... stupid bloomberg and the govn't think education is buisness...as a student a broke student where both my parents are unemployed, how am i supposed to finish my education and make something of my self if i cant get to school... use the money from the useless war to pay for the stupid mta...........stop bloomberg and clein theyre trying to take everything away from us!!!!!
Mayor Bloomberg announced today that they will be investing millions of dollars for a new police academy. At least we will have enough police to arrest all the children jumping turnstiles to get to school.
As a parent who has had at least one child in NY public schools for the past 12 years, like many other NY parents, I would not have been able to send my children to school were it not for free student Metrocards. The elimination of this service will create a hardship for families and lead to dramatic increases in drop-out rates. At the same time, this is the first time I am learning that the MTA absorbs the costs of free student fares. I agree with the MTA that New York City's educational concerns should not be their responsibility. The DOE, The City of New York and OUR Mayor Bloomberg need to figure out a way to make sure this necessity remains in place for the success NYC students.
I would really like to know how many members of the MTA Board own cars and use them on a regular basis. I have a feeling that most do. Its real easy to make cuts on services that do not actually affect the Board. Two years ago the MTA claimed a surplus in their budget. Where did this surplus go? Certainly not to services. The sad truth is New Yorkers are dependent upon the public transportation system and the MTA Board knows this and therefore, they do not take the commuters into any consideration when it comes to decisions they make.
I understand they had a budget to balance but when the balancing means taking away and limiting services that are vital to New Yorkers, perhaps they need to rethink the ways in which they are meeting the balance. Its disgusting to know that not only does New Yorkers have to contend with exorbitant rents, hikes in the cost of groceries, electric and gas bills as well as property taxes and CUNY/SUNY tuition, but that many of my fellow New Yorkers will be forced to find alternate ways to get to work. The MTA gives new meaning to phrase, The Working Poor. Shame on the MTA and the Governor. Neither of you are friends of New York City.
With monies needed to keep the trains and buses running why is the MTA still paying contractors large amounts of money when the have their own employees that can do the same work
The MTA board is a bunch of insensitive fat cats who have no heart for the straphangers and the poor students. They should be cutting the fat from the top big shots who make 6 figure incomes. They are corrupt.
Does the chairmans children take the subway?????????????? They should be ashamed of themselves in this holiday season. Where is Mayor Bloomberg in this crisis???????
Andy from Brooklyn