Just when you thought congestion pricing was dead, a weak heartbeat is heard. In light of the abolutely astonishing deficit facing the MTA next year, the state is starting to get desperate in it’s search for funds. Let’s back up and review.
The current state of the subway: sh*thole.
Oh, and that’s the official “term” now being used. New York City Transit President, Howard Robers Jr. told the New York Post that the subway system is extreme bad, and it isn’t going to get better any time soon. By “extremely bad,” he means falling apart.
Enter more proposed fare hikes. Well, you’d think that the fare hikes were proposed to generate money to refurb the system. Nope.
Any of the proposed fare hikes would only maintain the current status quo. So take around at the current state of dilapidation. That’s what your extra cash would maintain, not fix.
The MTA has already invested $118 million in additional employees to clean subway stations. However, one $40,000 employee has to clean an average of 5 stations. To get it up to a daily routine, another 815 employees would be needed.
(By the way, that janitorial salary is $8,000 more per year than a rookie cop.)
So what’s the damage? The MTA is facing a $900 million shortfall. Wow. Coming up on a billion dollars. That’s ridiculous.
How do you even begin to handle that? Re-enter congestion pricing.
Enter congestion pricing. Asked in a recent interview how seriously the commission was considering elements of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s traffic revenue plan to provide money that could bail out the authority, Mr. [Richard] Ravitch replied, “Very.” [NY Times]
There’s simply no need for the number of personal vehicles we have on the road in New York. Think about how many are just parked in the city, let alone the number that are moving around at any given time. It should really be treated, and priced as a luxury.
Take that cash and reinvest it in the subway. First bring it up to par. Then expand service to accommodate and serve more New Yorkers.