Thursday, November 12, 2009
From Fox 5:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in a desperate financial situation, but there is one service the agency is required to provide that costs close to half a billion dollars a year.
And even though the cost keeps rising, Fox 5 found out that because of the sensitive nature of the expensive program, it is not easy to look into potential abuse and waste.
Access-A-Ride is a well-intended federally mandated program that New York City Transit, part of the cash-strapped MTA, has to provide. The cost is enormous. It's estimated that the Access-A-Ride program in the New York area will cost more than $451 million in 2009. The passenger pays the normal $2.25 subway and bus fare, but each trip costs about $66. The public picks up most of the tab.
But the big grey area with Access-A-Ride is exactly who qualifies for it. First of all, it has nothing to do with money. You can be a billionaire. You could be broke. As long as you qualify, you wind up with a ride for $2.25.