MTA Prices Up…Service Down?

I’ve lived in New York City for almost 7 years now, and if there is one thing that I have become accustomed to, it is the raising of MTA prices.

When I first came to New York City to go to college, the cost of a single fare was $1.50 and you could still buy tokens. Now the price of a single fare is $2.00, there are no more tokens, and the price is set to rise to $2.50 beginning this summer—unless something should change.

However, the price of a single fare is not the only thing the MTA has raised. More commonly, the price of a monthly subway card has risen at least two times since my arrival, and the price of riding in taxis and on the train have gone up substantially as well.

If you are a New York City resident and worker, the most staggering price shift is that monthly fare increase. Right now, the cost of a monthly subway card is just $81, but it is set to jump all the way to $103, a shift of over 27%!

If you could show me the numbers that say this is the price that that the monthly card has to be if we are going to keep the subway running at its currently level of efficiency, then eventually I would have to accept that. I would hope for continued improvements if I am going to give that much more of my money to the MTA, but I can only expect so much from a municipality, right?

However, instead of the MTA simply saying this is the price that they need to make monthly Metrocards if the subway is going to continue to operate, they are also adding to that by saying that they will cut back subway service.

That’s right. The MTA is going to ask New Yorkers to pay more money for the subway while giving its riders less subway to work with.

Subway service is not the only thing the MTA is going to cutback. Bus routes will also be cut. Need I not point out how critical bus transportation is to those outerboroughs. So on top of cutting back subway service in areas of New York City where the subway runs too infrequently, the MTA is also cutting back on one of the most vital forms of transportation for the elderly.

I find it amazing how the MTA turns to the people of New York City when they need to bludgeon people for money. As if it’s the people using the subway everyday to get to work that are responsible for the MTA’s poor financial accounting and the city’s overall economic downfall. If you ask me, if the MTA needs money, they need to turn to the people who are responsible for the city’s budgeting problems: the people on Wall Street and government officials.

If Citibank and Bank of America can acquire taxpayer money and backing, then why can’t the people of the New York City have some of that money spent on rescuing the MTA?

I would rather see the fall of Citibank before I see the subway shut down. Call me shortsighted, but the subway is the reason this city is the way it is. Public transportation is what makes New York City unlike any other, because it puts people on a level playing field, in that anyone can get anywhere, regardless of income. Citibank is only a proponent for making the wealthy even wealthier, and while many New Yorkers have benefited from that, I want my tax dollars saving the average man from a 27% increase on the subway, not from some proposed catastrophic fall of a bank that could care less about me.

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