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by Ben Fried
The responsibility of past generations of pols can be overstated. They too passed a series of unfunded pension enhancements in the 1960s and early 1970s, and ran up huge debts while underfunding infrastructure maintenance. The driving force was pols from New York City whose constituents were aging or moving to the suburbs.
They reversed course, but only after a collapse left the city with vastly inferior public services and sky high taxes, which continued for decades. Most of the burden was shifted to those coming after — Tier IV down from Tier I for the retirement of younger public employees, lower wages for new hires, the destruction of the school system, etc. — all while New York enacted the most expensive services for senior citizens in the U.S.
There was a shift in power to new people who rebuilt the city in city government, with most of what was left of the old machine swept away by term limits. But it’s the same crowd in the state.
With perpetual incumbency, and relatives and staffers taking the place of those who retire mid-term, EXACTLY the same practices that nearly wrecked the city in the late 1960s and 1970s have been repeated in exactly the same way. Except for more assistance to the poor, which there was some of back in the day. You’ve got the debts. You’ve got the pension enhancements, and underfunding. You have soaring construction prices, and promised improvements not delivered. You have all kinds of special deals and grants to those working the system. Etc.
The old pols seem responsible became they eventually admitted it was necessarly to wipe out public services and raise taxes, imposing harm on those who matter less. But they did so only after a financial panic threw New York City into de facto bankruptcy. Which is coming, at which point we might get more “responsiblity” out of Albany.
If the single ride stays at $2.25 with a 15% bonus — effectively $1.96 per ride, that bumps the number of rides up to 52 per “month” to make the unlimited worthwhile.
That’s about 12 (one-way) non-commuting trips. I would guess that many people don’t make that many. I may not some months. Especially now that they’ve taken away two of the buses I used to ride.
The unlimited will simply mean overpaying from here on out I think. If you consider that many people occasionally work from home, travel, bike to work, go on vacation, take a sick day, etc even doing the daily commutes are not worth it.
This seems like another revenue source that will not live up to expectations by the MTA. And it will be an excuse by Albany politicians to not fund it anymore and steal other dedicated revenues. But service cuts are worse.
Per NYPD regulations, 2 TEAs per shift guard own cars instead of ticketing illegally parked cars (Post)
We can’t complain too much about the fare increases. Times are tough economically, and everyone has to sacrifice a bit. If a $1 MetroCard surcharge sounds rough, I can’t even begin to imagine how much more motorists are going to have to pay in order to feel their share of the burden! $1 increase for the form of transportation which serves as the economic, cultural, and social backbone of the city, and given the economics of scale, is the most efficient from a public spending point of view… Just think of how much people who use a luxury mode of transportation that is a huge drain on public resources are going to have to pay! Given these fare increases, from a logical, mathematical perspective, I can’t even begin to imagine how much they are going to start tolling automobiles to cross the East River bridges!
The times are a-changin’, they are!
I have to admit that I also am surprised by the 248 arrests pursuant to Leandra’s law. Perhaps this is just a small fraction of the total number of DWI arrests in a typical 6-month period in New York, and nothing to get excited about, but I am hopeful it reflects a willingness by law enforcement to respond with heightened diligence in applying this newly-minted form of traffic felony. If so, that may mean that other legislation now in the pipeline–like the bills that would make a felony of causing a crash while not properly licensed–might if passed also be enforced diligently. I believe felony arrests for unlicensed drivers would make a huge difference in traffic behavior on the road. Unlicensed drivers account for far more than their share of crashes.
“This would have the biggest improvement to the quality of the public realm and to transportation funding of anything that could be done. We need a bold, visionary elected official who is willing to step up to the plate to push for this.”
In response to "Public Support for NYC Toll Reform Highest in the Suburbs"