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.

Peace Out W and Z Lines

Due to a complete cluster f*ck of the MTA financial systems, the Daily News reports that the MTA has drawn up plans to shut down the W and Z lines as well as turn the J into a local train.

These plans are not official, but they seem like they’ll have to be put into place.

Additionally, as many as 1,500 jobs could be cut, overnight waiting times up to 30 minutes, and a fare hike making a single ride $3.00 seems to be right around the corner.

Here lies the problem.  The MTA is a bureaucracy controlled by the State up in Albany that really only impacts the lives of people in New York City.  (Yes, I know the MTA runs services in the burbs such as buses, etc.  But I’m concentrating in the bulk of the issues which are here in the city.)

So there really isn’t enough outrage on behalf of the citizens of New York.  For example, people living in Utica, NY could give a crap if the subway runs on time, or if the W and Z lines continue to be around.  So they aren’t going to say anything.  Actually, they’re probably against financial support of the MTA because it has nothing do do with them really.

Mark my words, major sh*t is about to go down.

Demand Action on MTA Budget Failures

Please excuse this brief public service announcement.  It’s time the MTA officials get off their asses and solve the MTA budget crisis.  It has been sitting around not getting fixed for way too long.

Your readers have already read all about MTA’s budget meltdown and the possibility of drastic fare hikes accompanied by severe cuts to bus and train service.  But have they heard what they can do about it?

On November 19th, the Campaign for New York’s Future is organizing Keep New York Moving Day. We’ll have volunteers at subway stations throughout the city, asking commuters to sign giant postcards to local leaders, telling them that now’s the time to invest in transit.

We need your help getting everyone’s attention, so our decision makers take action and save New York from our transportation crisis. Unless our leaders take immediate action, the MTA’s severe budget shortfall could soon lead to fewer trains, cuts to bus service, and double-digit fare hikes.

You and your readers can click here to find out what they can do to help Keep New York Moving and send a message urging our leaders to take action at www.keepnewyorkmoving.org. We’ll deliver the signatures on November 20th, when the MTA is holding a decisive meeting about the transit system’s desperate financial crisis.

Please feel free to also write with any questions or concerns,

Matt Derby,

On behalf of The Campaign for New York’s Future

Obnoxiously Long Commute this Morning

Wow did it take for ever to get to work this morning.

There were some pretty significant delays on the 1 train last night because of signal problems at 96th Street.  The trains were running excessively slow.  At one point, it took 10 minutes just to get to the next stop.  We were rolling the whole time, but at a pace that I could have matched on foot without breaking a sweat.

So this morning, I don’t know if they were still recovering or what.  There were huge gaps between trains.  The trains themselves ran quickly when they finally arrived.

Then there was the largest single travel group I’ve ever seen trying to board the train.  On the Upper West Side, there are a lot of less expensive boutique hotels, so groups of foreign travelers (and students) often stay there.  So you see the groups of them all the time.  Sometimes they can get large, but nothing like this.

There had to be over 150 of them.  Mostly they seemed to be around 18 years old.  I couldn’t make out where they were from.  They sounded sort of Dutch?  I don’t know.  What I do know is there was a ton of them.

Any other day when there are delays like this, the train arrives at the station packed to the gills.  Only 2 or 3 people are able to get on at each doorway, even though there are lots of people waiting at the platform.  So then, throw in this mass of tourists, and you’ve got complete insanity.

They’re still probably standing there waiting to get on.  There’s absolutely no way they were getting more than 10 of their people on a train at a time.  Of course, none of them wanted to do that.  They looked like they were just going to keep waiting until a virtually empty train came along.  Good luck with aaaallll that.

Where’s My MetroCard Damn It?!

Ain’t this a b*tch.  I went to buy a MetroCard today.  Everything was going as normal until it came time for the stupid machine to spit out my new card.

I heard the noise of it trying to spit the card out, but nothing happened.  Then all of a sudden it asked if I wanted a receipt.  I usually say no, but this time I was sure to get one.  Ball game over.

So I was standing there like an idiot with a line of people behind me thinking, “Now what?”

I could see like 1/8th of the card sticking out of the slot.  Not enough was sticking out for me to grab a hold of it.  It I had some pliers or something, I could have probably yanked it out.

So I stepped back and let the next person try.  Of course, I said it just jammed up for mine, but they were willing to try anyway.  Same thing happened.  I was hoping it would spit out two cards (mine then that guy’s).

I gave up and went to a different machine and bought another.  $164 later, I got one monthly card.

Luckily, I got that receipt.  But now it’s like a freaking nightmare to get reimbursed for the one that didn’t come out.  One woman on the phone was trying to give me a hard time about how she couldn’t deactivate it until it had been used at least once.

I said I don’t care what you do, just give me my $82 back, or send me another card and I’ll just hold on to it until next month.

MTA Police Officer Let’s Bum Skip Fare

I saw it with my own eyes.  My jaw dropped to the ground.

I’m sure you’ve seen a homeless person with a stack of used MetroCards standing at a turnstile swiping away in hopes to find a card with a ride still left on it.  I do applaud them for trying to be legal about getting in the subway.  Have to hand it to them there.

However, today I saw an MTA cop just let a guy in because he was tired of seeing the guy swipe (not the guy pictured above). 

It wasn’t even that busy.  The cop said, “You know what, just stop.  Come through.”  

With that, he opened the emergency door and let the guy through.

An act of kindness, perhaps.  However, if anyone else did that, he’d take pleasure in writing them a summons.  

The bottom line was he was just tired of hearing that high pitch ring of the cards being denied.

PHOTO CREDIT

NFL Kickoff Sh*tshow in Columbus Circle

If you haven’t seen or heard, the NFL has taken over all of Columbus Circle.  Tomorrow, it grows even more.

It’s all for the “NFL Kickoff” celebration tomorrow featuring performances by Usher, Keith Urban, and Natasha Bedingfield.

There’s an enormous stage taking up the width of Central Park South.  The stage is set up on Columbus Circle facing down CPS toward 5th Avenue.

However, all of the Circle will be closed to traffic and much of it to foot traffic tomorrow.  Streets all the way up to the 60’s on Broadway and Central Park West. And all of Central Park South from Columbus Circle to 5th Avenue.  Insane!

It’s going to make subway traffic in that area interesting.

The Columbus Circle subway is a complete disaster as it is right now from the never ending construction.  So I don’t know how they plan to handle all of the afternoon commute traffic.  The concert starts at about 3PM and ends by 6:45p.  So the rush should be fun.

Getting in and out of the half open stairways, half width platforms, etc is going to be epic.