Poll: How the Hell Do We Pay for this Crap?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it best today when he summed up the state of the MTA.  He says the MTA does not have a single dollar for it’s 2009 capital plan.  Not just falling a little short…literally does not have a single dollar.

So now law makers are scrambling to find revenue alternatives.  They are getting very desperate.

Governor Paterson is throwing around things like East River tolls, fare hikes, service cuts, and on and on.

[poll id=”10″]

You can refresh and vote up to three times if there’s more than one you like.

There’s probably some ideas missing, so hit them up in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Poll: How the Hell Do We Pay for this Crap?

  1. @Cully: True, but in the first version (that died) the Feds were going to give the city a huge nut of cash to pay for the required infrastructure to manage congestion pricing. So it would end up costing a TON in the short term to get up and running. It’s so late in the game now, I don’t think that’s an option anymore. At least not with the current crisis.

    @Michael Perkins: Maybe instead of a gas tax, a major tax credit for bikes. Hell, I think those of us without cars should get a big tax break. That would make a fare increase more palatable.

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  2. How about getting rid of some stations?

    I often take the Brighton Line so I can say….

    Do we really need Beverley Rd AND Cortelyou Rd? We could also do with out Neck Rd

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  3. First, a judge temporarily takes over the MTA because of fiscal mismanagement and the potential to have a huge negative impact on the city. Of course next is to fire all of upper management. All. Then, you replace those people with short term management consultants. The Federal Government should be making a minimum price of 6 dollars per gallon for gasoline and subsidizing all mass transit. Instead the fact is that incompetents are in charge and they steal… filling their own pockets with personal profits while the city and all the inhabitants not in the old boy’s club suffer. 3 dollars a ride is disgusting to begin with. Fire them all. Stop paying Detroit execs hundreds of millions in personal profits while they kill the world with car pollution from low mileage cars. Support a NEW MTA.

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  4. I just truly hate that these people are all greedy and in the end it is us to pay for their mistakes…..I am pretty sure that it will be us (common people) to pay all the deficit they have made so far!!!!!

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  5. Why does the money have to come from transportation-related taxes and cuts? MTA is a vital, if not the single most vital, part of New York’s infrastructure. Perhaps the city should scale back spending in other areas such as social programs that could be funded privately, arts and entertainment budgets, and other non-critical expenditures. It would be helpful, too, if the city were able to actually collect some of those millions of dollars it is owed in parking tickets accumulated by foreign diplomats.

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  6. A commuter tax for those who make their income in NYC and use the services, yet live in the ‘burbs. Also, I loved the car registration tax idea where you pay a higher registration depending on the size of the car. Like I have a toyota corolla, so that would be $100/year registration. Where as the dumbass SUV drivers would pay $400. And everything in between would be $200-300. And this tax would be State wide. And the state actually subsidize the train system instead of putting it all on the backs of the riders.

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  7. Why do so many people think that tolling bridges would fix anything? If that were the case id say just raise the tolls on the ones you have. It still wouldn’t be enough…. i recommend EVERYONE look at the MTAs budget..its online!! 6.2 billion in payroll that includes half a billion in “Other Fringe Benefits”. What the heck is that… could that be freebies?? Personally i think thats the “other” column where you put the money you’ve pocketed. They took in 5.7 billion from tolls and fares… and they tell us the solution is more tolls on ALL the bridges, more fare increases, more taxes and everyones first born son. Wake up people .. The MTA is worse than GM right now.

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  8. Phil. They are talking about tolling the other bridges, so that all the bridges will have a toll. Living in Brooklyn it is easy for me to choose a free trip into Manhattan. No matter how high the toll is for the Battery Tunnel I pay nothing for the Brooklyn Bridge.

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  9. @Michael:
    Still doesnt make it right. Besides.. the bridges were meant to be free… even with an EZPass type system you would still need to have a cash paying system in place for out-of-town commercial and residential travel. Where do you put those toll booths?? Either side of the bridges would create more gridlock than anyone can imagine. As well as help swell the already out of control payroll. I cross the Whitestone or Throggsneck and GWB Bridges on almost a weekly basis. And the amount of officers hanging around is ridiculous. Not to mention the extremely long lines of cash payers.. who by the way all look to be native NYers. Or maybe they dont like the idea of using their credit card to pay for the tolls. Whatever the case… tolling more bridges wont help keep your train fare low and it surely wont help the quality of life in Brooklyn.

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  10. No one ever talks about this obvious alternative to congestion pricing: raise public parking (street meters) rates. Raise them a lot. I’ve no idea how much money is generated from parking meters in general, but it seems pretty obvious you could deter driving, and car ownership, in congested neighborhoods simply by making it more expensive to store cars on public property. It’s shocking to me that the vast majority of cross-streets in Manhattan (!) literally charge NOTHING to park. Crazy! And there are plenty of busy avenues that charge NOTHING on Sundays, some even charge nothing on Saturdays. You can park, without having to move your car once, from Friday night until Monday morning along Sixth Avenue from 14th St. to 23rd St.- FOR FREE. Yep – in front of Bed Bath and Beyond. I did the math – if they charged $4 per hour only during shopping hours on Saturday and Sunday, that stretch of avenue alone would generate over $600,000 per year. Glance at any of those new parking muni-meters and you’ll see – parking is only $2 per hour during business hours – a ridiculous bargain. And here’s a question I’ve never read a reasonable answer for in the 23 years since I moved here from car-culture USA: Why is it FREE to park a car overnight anywhere in this city, no matter how densely populated? Maintaining this public property for car owners is a public service that costs real money – it should be charged for, and the charge should be exactly reflective of what it costs to maintain those streets – the cleaning, the periodic re-paving, the policing. And then parking meters during the day should charge rates high enough to provide a big chunk of money for transit operations, simultaneously reducing congestion by deterring discretionary car use.

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  11. @Erik:
    Well that would never work.. why??

    one. Businesses would be against it. especially Bed,Bath and Beyond.
    two. The money you make would be spent paying more ticket agents to work during the day and overnight (major payroll!!), court fees for the people fighting the tickets, and new signage and .. well.. that about does it. The payroll alone would be the major deterrent.
    three. And most importantly… people actually ‘live’ in Manhattan! should they be penalized for having to park on the street when the city has allowed most of the parking lots that used to be along sixth avenue to become newly built Condo towers with no parking facilities. No.. my idea is best for Manhattan anyway… do away with the damn yellow taxis! Then i could actually be able to take a cross-town bus instead of a taxi. Or.. do away with the bus! At three miles an hour (how fast the slowest bus route in Manhattan goes) an elderly person can walk faster than that. Im just saying… its like looking at a sea of yellow all the time… that i so enjoy the pleasure that comes from a taxi strike!

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  12. @Phil G: Couldn’t disagree more.

    First, the ticket agents could pay for their own salaries. Two $100 tickets would more than pay for their entire day’s work. Let’s do the math:

    Let’s low-ball it and say a ticket agent could write 5 tickets an hour over 7 hours (allowing the 8th hour for breaks/lunch). And lets say an average ticket of $50. Some will be over a hundred, some will be less. The average is probably higher, but let’s just stick with $50 for the sake of argument. So…

    $50 per ticket X 5 tickets per hour X 7 hours per day X 5 days a week X 50 weeks = $455,000 in revenue.

    Let’s be generous and say that this agent with a few years of seniority makes $55,000 a year in salary. That leaves a profit of $400,000 per agent! Yeah…they could definitely pay for themselves.

    Second, owning a car and parking it in Manhattan is a privlege. There’s no reason you need to have a car in this city. It’s simply a luxury. If you are working outside the city, then there’s no real need for you to live here. Certainly you have the right to live here and work outside the city, but don’t expect that parking your car is going to be free.

    Third, cabs are way more efficient and eco-friendly than everyone owning their own car. If we got rid of the private vehicles on the road, that crosstown bus would move much quicker too. The cabs are a cheap and efficient way to move around the city any time you like, and they don’t take up parking spaces. And you don’t have to worry about paying parking tickets.

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