Stock analysts debate the new Apple Watch may bring more profits to the already promising payoffs of Apple shares. It’s a success for the once teetering company that almost went bankrupt before the release of the iPhone. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), conversely, has been on a losing streak through most of its history of almost 50 years. The New York megalopolis has been paying out regular fare increases since MTA inception. A vast majority live imprisoned within the 5 counties of New York City where transit alternatives are sparse and unaffordable. MTA is seeking yet another fare increase in 2015 to cover budget indiscretions and losses. Is it time to revamp the MTA?
Formed in 1968, the New York State Legislature creates the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to oversee transportation operations in 12 counties, including New York City. What seemed like a nice idea, as suburban railroads were facing bankruptcies, the MTA has possibly become the most mismanaged monopoly of transit that affects city life from pleasure to working. MTA needs 32,000,000,000 and it wants you to foot the bill.
The MTA board is governed by a 17-member Board. Members are nominated by the Governor, with four recommended by New York City’s mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam counties (the members representing the latter four cast one collective vote). In 2013, MTA board members had salary potentials of $350,000 per year and few ride the MTA system routinely.
According to AMNY, a free newspaper in New York City, MTA is seeking transit and toll fare hikes in 2015 to close a 32 billion dollar budget gap. This April 27 announcement follows an increase that began the beginning of March 2015. The MTA rules the New York Subway System, the NYC bus system, Long Island Railroad, Metro North, and several bridges and tunnels designed for automotive use. MTA is a big company but is also the root of significant inflation over a complex system.
It’s safe to say that the creation of the elevated and subway lines help New York city explode into an active metropolis at a speed far faster than any one person might have dreamed. When many elevated lines were destroyed in the 1940’x, new neighborhoods arose with no transportation routes replacing the original ones.
Granted, the New York Subways system dates to 1903 but elevated lines go as far back as the 1880’s. Parts of Brooklyn’s F train goes back to 1875. The original elevated and subway routes before and after 1900 were competitively run by Interboro Rapid Transit (IRT) and Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (BMT). Other lines formed the Independent Subways around 1920.
Staten Island had its own elevated rail system that was bought by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1885 and expanded in 1895 by Central Railroad of New Jersey.
One could say he competition and differing systems and sizes were and continue to be a mess. Brooklyn and Queens were not originally part of New York City. The IRT trains are shorter and narrower than BMT and IND standards and the lines are incompatible.
Beyond repairs from acts of nature that wreak havoc, the MTA has waged a costly transit hub, a 2nd Avenue Subway, and an extension of the 7-line to the Javits Center. The MTA also maintains trains, tracks, and buses, and approximately 40% of its projected $16-billion annual budget goes to unionized payroll.
Fares, MTA asserts, account for only a small portion of the budget.
Taxi riders unwittingly pay an 80-cent surcharge on each fare. most of which goes to fund the MTA.
The MTA operated bridges also get hiked with each fare increase, adding costs to private car transit. Many of these bridges were built over 50 years ago and have long covered initial construction costs.
Many required utility bills include State surcharges and a portion are fed directly to MTA budgets.
Meanwhile, bus and train services are reduced placing riders into daily torture sessions to commute to work and back. The MTA cites very little concern to the needs of the average rider.
Since 1979, the only major rider advocacy groups has been the Straphangers Campaign that is run by NYPIRG or New York Public Interest Research Group. It’s a poorly funded research organization that uses students at 20 college campuses as volunteers to conduct interviews and research.
I do support alternate transportation organizations like Transportation Alternatives and CitiBike using bicycles as healthy methods of short distance commuting. Consequently, significantly more people prefer and rely on public transportation and MUST use and cope with what MTA offers.
As Apple marches towards shaping the 21st century, admittedly MTA must cope with 19th and 20th century technologies. Instead of building new discretionary projects, the MTA must focus exclusively on improving the current meat-and-potatoes, everyday infrastructure.
In addition, the New York City Council and Mayor must demand that MTA divest itself of operating New York City transit and bridges.
Beyond NYC, the residents of other counties have cars and cabs to take them to train stations. New York residents, as more rule than privilege, do not have access or the money to use this luxury. Cars, parking, fuel, insurance and other costs are higher in the 5 NYC counties than most of the country.
MTA board members must be paid no more than $100,000 per year. They are appointed civil servants. Like anyone else, the MTA must be held accountable to the quality of living for the riders that MTA represents.
Apple is aware of the competitive flavors of different technologies and, at least this year, is waging some triumphs. As the Big Apple, New York City may one day plan projects like light rails that help access to fringe areas not adequately covered by transit. First, though, NYC must address infrastructure
The MTA must first cater to its users well and account for these tens of billions of budget overspending to each New Yorker. Transit help make New York an empire. An unaccountable MTA may, one day, make New Yorkers seek out elsewhere for preserving and building quality of life.
As the Big Apple, New York City may one day plan projects like light rails that help access to fringe areas not adequately covered by transit. First, though, NYC must address infrastructure of rails and highways. Then more buses must be added to neglected routes that now carry heavy loads of people waiting upwards of a half-hour between bus arrivals.
New York City residents, it may be time to vote for those candidates that agree with divesting the 5 boroughs from a mismanaged MTA that was developed in another era before smartphones and tablets. It may be time for New York, dubbed the Big Apple, to seek out better transit service for those who love calling New York City home. Tell your officials that MTA must not raise fares again.