Friday, September 17, 2010
MTA news roundup
From the Daily News:
Three months after imposing service cuts, the MTA moved closer to near-certain fare hikes on Monday night at the first of its two legally mandated public hearings.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder said he didn't see any way the January hikes to bus, subway and commuter fares would be averted.
Walder said there are no ongoing discussions between the MTA and Albany officials about increasing state subsidies for operations. Indeed, Gov. Paterson and the Legislature agreed to the January hikes to generate about $410 million - 7.5% of fare revenues - when enacting new transit-dedicated taxes last year.
It would be the third increase since 2008, an unprecedented one-two-three punch to riders. The Manhattan hearing drew a much smaller crowd than others in the past - about 150 people.
"People have gotten hip to the fact that these hearings are a sham," one woman shouted, calling for a straphanger revolution.
From the Daily News:
The MTA will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars training new bus drivers instead of bringing back some who were recently laid off, the Daily News has learned.
About 125 recruits are being hired from a list of job applicants, while some 185 drivers pink-slipped in June remain out of work, according to NYC Transit and union officials.
And one more from the Daily News:
AS PRIVATE van companies took over axed Queens bus lines starting this week, riders greeted the change with skepticism and some confusion.
The Q74 bus line that ran between Kew Gardens and the Queens College area was taken over by Commuter Transportation Systems on Monday.
On its inaugural day, only 20 people boarded the vans, said company owner Hector Ricketts.
The main problem is riders don't know the program exists, said David Yassky, head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which launched the pilot program to fill the service gap created by Metropolitan Transit Authority budget cuts.
"The biggest hurdle will be customer awareness and getting potential passengers to know the service is available," Yassky said.