Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let's make this guy MTA president!

From the NY Times:

Last year, the Albany legislature levied a new tariff on most of the businesses in the New York City region. The “Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax” requires employers to set aside 34 cents for every $100 in payroll costs, and hand the money over to a battered, barely breathing patient on the state’s fiscal operating table: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The tax hasn’t worked out so well. So far, its projected revenues are coming in about $400 million below the state’s estimates – which, in part, will mean reduced subway and bus service for New Yorkers starting this summer. It has also prompted a furious backlash from suburban officials who resent bankrolling an agency that, they say, benefits the city at the expense of its surrounding counties.

And then there is William Schoolman, 69, amateur activist, self-described “prototypical entrepreneur,” and current proprietor of the Hampton Luxury Liner bus fleet. In December, he filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court claiming the tax to be unconstitutional and demanding its repeal. The reason?

“Competition,” Mr. Schoolman said in a recent telephone interview, anger rising in his voice. “This is the first time that I ever had to pay a subsidy directly to my competitor. That’s the thing that really bothers me.”

Indeed, Hampton Luxury Liner must compete with the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, both arms of the transportation authority, for customers heading to the East End and the upscale outlet mall at Woodbury Common in Orange County. Of course, as a taxpayer, hasn’t Mr. Schoolman been subsidizing these railroads for years?

“You reach a point in time when enough is enough,” Mr. Schoolman said. “Why should someone support a government–funded corporation that operates as inefficiently as the M.T.A.?”

35 comments:

Lino said...

“Competition,” Mr. Schoolman said in a recent telephone interview, anger rising in his voice. “This is the first time that I ever had to pay a subsidy directly to my competitor. That’s the thing that really bothers me.”

Self-serving tripe. If Mr "Schoolman" didn't have competition he'd be raping people with his fares and forcing more cars onto the roads.

Funny how these upstanding businessmen always see competition as gong one way -theirs.

Pure B.S.

georgetheatheist said...

If Mr. Schoolman was "raping" people with his fares, you and I, Lino, could start a more benevolent, lower-priced, bus company.

Anonymous said...

LOL What a crock
---Promo for a sitcom !!
It's clear the NYT is "paid for" too
I knew that wouldn't take long !
Crappy may have a front row seat

Anonymous said...

They got it al wrong!

The new Hamptons subway will be run by a pompous and corrupt commissioner who writes a weekly "rantings" in the newsletter, from the south of France or some resort at which he is vacationing and "studying" transportation solutions in those locales.

Queens Crapper said...

I suppose Lino would prefer that the MTA have a monopoly on transit. I really don't understand where some of you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

Self-serving tripe. If Mr "Schoolman" didn't have competition he'd be raping people with his fares and forcing more cars onto the roads.

The same could be said about the MTA.

Take a class in capitalism already because you're sounding kinda dumb with your knee-jerk anti-business statements.

Anonymous said...

The MTA is raping people with its fares and forcing more cars onto the roads. Less service = more need to drive. It's not like Long Island mass transit is all that user-friendly, anyway.

Lino said...

" Queens Crapper said...
I suppose Lino would prefer that the MTA have a monopoly on transit. I really don't understand where some of you are coming from."

That is not what I said..you know better than that. Mr "Schoolman" -voiced resentment for paying taxes that among many other services, also funds the MTA which he has decided to compete against.

If one decided to start a private fire fighting or police company, would there be any merit to that person's complaint that they are forced to also pay for their "competition"?

Face it, this guy's carping is just self-serving tripe.

I am sure the Supreme Court judge will be grateful at least for a bit of comic relief.

Queens Crapper said...

"Mr "Schoolman" -voiced resentment for paying taxes that among many other services, also funds the MTA which he has decided to compete against."

No, Lino, here's where you are wrong. The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax is what he is objecting to, and it is a payroll tax that was enacted by Albany last year to DIRECTLY FUND the MTA. I'm paying it too, and I work for myself, a good part of the time from home.

Babs said...

I don't understand. The Hampton Jitney runs along a different route than the LIRR, AND it certainly does not service your average commuter at $20.00 per one-way trip (more or less).

It does not run as often, AND of course it has to deal with traffic - especially through Bridgehampton which is ALWAYS congested with shoppers.

I LOVE the ride myself in the summer as I enjoy roaming around Sag Harbor for the day or weekend. BUT it IS a sloooow ride in. The difference for those not familiar with the ride is between the LIRR and the Express Bus i.e. 20 min. commute vs. 1-1/2 hrs. from Qns to Manhattan. Heh you got the time - hop on.

Bottomline - the is NOT direct competition for the LIRR.

Anonymous said...

A peak trip to Montauk is $23, so the Jitney is competition. You are trading in speed for comfort, convenience and price.

Anonymous said...

Hampton Luxury Liner and Hampton Jitney are 2 difference services, both of which are competition for the LIRR.

stinky said...

A peak trip to Montauk is $23, so the Jitney is competition. You are trading in speed for comfort, convenience and price.

But in the process you and I who live near the LIE where the buses crawl along at a snails pace, spout diesel fumes that will kill you eventually. So these polluters including luxo Bentleys and Mercedes cars that drive to the Hamptons should be taxed at a much higher rate. The buses compete directly with Queens subways and then the LIRR. Have a rule that the bus can only pick up passengers from the Jamaica LIRR station for direct service. This will allow for a choice in transportation and the buses will not travel throughout the boughes polluting the air!

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, most buses these days are hybrid vehicles. The LIRR east of Babylon is what burns diesel.

Queens Crapper said...

* Some of them leave from Hunterspoint and Jamaica, too.

Lino said...

"..here's where you are wrong. The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax is what he is objecting to, and it is a payroll tax that was enacted by Albany last year to DIRECTLY FUND the MTA."

I do understand that he objecting to a tax of 34 cents per $100 in payroll.

He is objecting to a tax that directly funds an entity that he has chosen to compete with. I understand that but, it is in practice no different than the examples I gave. Taxes pay for services for which there are often private sector alternatives.

If he wanted to fight for lower taxes -for all of us- that would be fine. But to try and predicate an argument against one specific tax because it happens to fund his competition even though that entity benefits the vast majority of New Yorkers vs his small luxury clientele is, as I said self serving.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the MTA doesn't benefit the vast majority of New Yorkers. It benefits those who use it, which compared to the general public, is a minority.

kingb said...

"Actually, the MTA doesn't benefit the vast majority of New Yorkers. It benefits those who use it, which compared to the general public, is a minority."

i have no love for the MTA (or its partner in crime TWU), but that statement is ludicrous.

Babs said...

Lino said: "If he wanted to fight for lower taxes -for all of us- that would be fine. But to try and predicate an argument against one specific tax because it happens to fund his competition even though that entity benefits the vast majority of New Yorkers vs his small luxury clientele is, as I said self serving."

most definitely!

And the MAJORITY of us do benefit from the MTA's services - directly or INDIRECTLY.

And Anonymous - Professionals and business owners - department stores and malls, etc. all benefit don't they from people having ACCESS to THEIR services . . .

Anonymous said...

Malls have parking lots.

Babs said...

EVERYONE has a car?

EVERYONE drives?

hello.

Anonymous said...

Most people drive to the mall. It kind of defeats the purpose of having everything in one place if you have to lug it home on the bus.

Babs said...

I LOVE shopping in Manhattan - I would NEVER take my car.

Parking is extremely tight EVERYWHERE also - people WILL take public transportation if they can.

It doesn't matter if it's SOME people or MANY - the bottomline is that businesses PROSPER from their customers' use of public transportation.

Also - rents are HIGHER the closer they are to public transportation which benefits landlords indirectly.

THEREFORE, it can be said that the MAJORITY of people in New York benefit from the services of the MTA directly or indirectly.

Anonymous said...

"I LOVE shopping in Manhattan - I would NEVER take my car."

What about Queens? Why don't you love shopping here? When you do shop here, do you take your car?

Queens Crapper said...

Shopping in Manhattan and shopping at the mall are 2 different things.

georgetheatheist said...

Shop till you drop. How medieval. (Just like "going" to school.)

I buy on the internet.

Babs said...

Aside from Manhattan, I probably shop the most in Roosevelt Field - and I do take my car for that shopping fest.

The times I shop in Macy's in Flushing - I take the bus.

Queens Center Mall - too congested for me. I no longer go there.

Anonymous said...

It's too congested because kids are hanging out there all day - and then take the bus home!

Anony2 said...

It doesn't matter that this is self-serving. What matters is that some one is taking a stand against this tax and that benefits us all.

Babs said...

YES - the Queens Center Mall serves as an after-school center for teenagers!

I shop on-line also Crappy.

But I still enjoy the "theatre" of the old department stores like Bloomingdales on Lexington! or sitting in the window of the Broome Street Cafe in Soho people watching!

AND part of that experience is looking out the window of a moving bus or railcar! AND if the fares go up another 50 cents - I couldn't CARE LESS.

Babs said...

ha HAH!
I see I have the last word here - and deservedly so. . . . .

;)

Anonymous said...

do you?

Ned said...

I beleive a one way peak trip to Montauk is currently $23 it was $28 last summer.

The plus is the Hampton Jitney has Wifi to kill the time
Traffic in the hamptons is pure hell and exaust fumes. Trapped no place to go
The train is a better deal and faster if you need to go east of Southhampton during summer.

A word abot Sag Harbor.
Aside the "Corner Bar" where it take 45 minutes to get a simple but good burger when its empty. Sag Harbor has the worst food and pizza on Long Island.
Nighlife in Sag harbor is a good 30% flaiming gays and "in crowd" scumbags.

Babs said...

And FABULOUS SHOPPING (small unique shops), great dining (B.Smith's my fav) and a beautiful and UNCROWDED beach. With residents such as Steinbach, Melville and Max Ernst - Sag Harbor became a refuge for many of America's greatest artists in the 40s and 50s. Their old victorians and colonial homes are still in grand condition. Old oak trees and stunning perennial gardens continually attract photographers and artists. Sag Harbor is among the last communities on the East End to be able to keep much of its rich history and character intact and has been dubbed as the un-Hampton.

For burgers, beers and babes Ned perhaps the Jersey Shore would be more to your liking - or stay your summers on Bell Blvd.

gov. arnold schwarzenegger said...

Bell Boulevard. Burgers, beer, und babes. Vat a vunnerful vell of visdom! Hahr-hahr.