Is that 17 Sacagawea’s in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Happy fare hike Monday.  Actually, the fares jumped over the weekend, but most of us wouldn’t have noticed until today.

So now that we have a $2.25 fare, your pants just got heavier.  How so?  Well, if you buy a single ride with a $5 bill, you’re going to get back two dollar coins plus 3 quarters.  Awesome.

God help you if you paid for it with a $20.  That’s 17 dollar coins plus 3 quarters.

$20 bill goes in, 20 coins come out.

Granted, even a few days ago, it still would have been 18 dollar coins…but still.  It’s pretty insane.

The bigger problem is going to be the little old ladies that have to break out their coin purse full of nickels to get up to the 25 cents.  You know there ain’t no damn way grandma is going to break another dollar if she doesn’t have to.

At least the machines don’t take pennies!

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.

Bull Sh*t Alert: MTA Postpones Upgrades

Remember way back when the MTA promised that part of the new fare hike would include some general system upgrades with a $30 million improvement package? Yeah well, the MTA has decided they’re just gonna hold off on that for a lil bit.

This is such bullshit, it drives me nuts. If this is the stuff they can get away with, they should have just promised to make $900 million in improvements. Either way, they weren’t going to do it in the first place.

Here’s what we’re not getting:

More frequent service on the G line in Brooklyn and Queens, extending B and W service on weeknights to 11 p.m. from the current 9:30 p.m., and shaving one or two minutes from waiting times for evening service on the 1, 4 and 6 lines.

So much for that plan.  I guess at the end of the day, it just means more of the same for your commute.  For the few of us that actually pay an strange amount of attention to the happenings of the subway, we will be the only ones that get ultra pissed.

But riders having to now pay higher fares should be pissed.  Part of the “agreement” were these system improvements.

They say that if the MTA finance department can get their act together by June, the improvements might still have a chance.  Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.  I love how these financial troubles are all of a sudden brought up now…after the fare hike has already happened.  Where was this information earlier?  Saying that the numbers weren’t in is just bull.  It’s not like they are being sent in by carrier pigeon.  All you need to do is look up the tax forecasts etc. and you would have been able to see that the MTA wasn’t going to make as much this year.

So they should not have offered the improved services in the first place, or upped the fare $0.25 on the single ride fare.

Those with the Most Money Vote for Everyone Else

Well this just about sums it all up:

At least five members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s governing panel have seven-figure net worths. That’s nearly a third of the board empowered to vote on proposed hikes in subway, bus and commuter train fares.  [Daily News]

You know I’ve always had this idea kicking around in the back of my mind, but I never really got my hands around it. Why do the richest people make all the decisions for the poorest?

I guess that’s just life in all realms of politics, but you’d think there would be a little more flexibility on the local level. Why is it that the MTA Board is made up of wealthy people, a third of which are millionaires? For that matter, why is the MTA made up of so many people that don’t live in New York City? I know the MTA’s reach extends well beyond NYC, but the city sure does account for the bulk of that nugget.

What would it hurt to add a more representative face to the board? There should be members from all the boroughs, of varying economic class.

To be honest, the fare hike isn’t going to have an impact on my life. We’re talking a monthly increase equal to a cappuccino or two. But that’s just me. These millionaires are even more disconnected. It might not be a big deal for us, but I fear we are the minority.

MTA Discriminates Against Dimes

What an outrage. Where’s Al Sharpton when you need him. Oh yeah…he’s busy trying to get himself on TV with the Jena 6. Anyway, we’ve recently learned that the MTA hates dimes.

Yup…you heard it right here. The MTA Metrocard machines do not take dimes. They can handle dimes, quarters, and those retarded dollar coins, but not so much with the dimes.

Turns out the proposed fare hike should only be 10 cents, but since the MetroCard machines can’t dispense change with dimes, they decided to round up to a quarter.

It’s enough of a pain in the ass when you get a bunch of those dollar coins back. If the fare were $2.10, you’d get 45 pounds of nickels back. I say let them make it $2.10. We’ll then take all the nickels, put them in a sock, and get to swinging!

Seriously, what were they thinking when they got these machines?