Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fare Scare

According to the New York State comptroller, the MTA can get by without its proposed fare hike next year thanks to an unexpectedly high cash balance.

Good news although I highly doubt that the MTA will not raise fares, something they've been more and more eagar to do in the last few years. Obviously being able to get from Brooklyn to the Bronx or from Jamaica to downtown Manhattan for $2 is a bargain.

Still the service isn't any better than it was when the price was $1.50 a ride, and we know that money isn't going to significantly higher pay for transit workers, so where exactly is it going? A typical trip through the New York City subway system entails watching cat-sized rats scurry across the tracks, and hoping that your train will actually take its prescribed route, which it often does not with no notice or announcement. When you are on the right track, so to speak, you're often delayed by "switching problems" or "debris" or one of a plethora of other problems that can keep you motionless in a dark tunnel for 20, 30, or even 40 minutes.

Another fun trick the MTA likes to play is changing train routes for no apparent reason. The D goes where the B used to go, and the C doesn't go to the Bronx anymore, and wait, there's a V and a W now? You often find yourself wondering if you were absent the day in Kindergarden when they went over the alphabet.

I know a good deal when I see one. I'm perfectly willing to pay $2.50 for a trip into the city, but for 5 trips a week that's an extra $130 a year. I want to get something in return this time.

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