metropolitan transportation authority Tag All blog entries tagged as metropolitan transportation authority http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Tue, 08 Jul 2014 07:15:52 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead Story: Subway Fares To Go Up In March http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/20/todays-lead-story-subway-fares-to-go-up-in-march http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/20/todays-lead-story-subway-fares-to-go-up-in-march

Millions of riders who rely on the subways and buses to get around the city will have to pay more for the base fare beginning in March. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted unanimously yesterday to approve the rate increases, even though some members voiced regrets that the city's commuters pay too much in fares. "We are not the fat, profligate, out-of-control agency that people make the MTA out to be. We've done everything we can to control costs," said board Chairman Joe Lhota, who also announced yesterday he would leave his job to explore a run for mayor.

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UFT's Mulgrew Halts Talks On New Teacher Evaluations (Gotham Schools)

DOE Reverses Sibling Admissions Policy (Inside Schools)

Quinn Says She'll Amend Campaign Finance Bill (NY Times)

MTA Chief Lhota Steps Down As He Eyes Mayoral Bid (NY Post)

Over $700M In Regional Economic Stimulus Awarded (Associated Press)

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Thu, 20 Dec 2012 12:15:48 +0000
The MTA's $4.7B Capital Budget Request For Sandy Repairs http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/17/the-mtas-47b-capital-budget-request-for-sandy-repairs http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/17/the-mtas-47b-capital-budget-request-for-sandy-repairs Staff at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority say the agency has no choice but to spend billions to repair the city's transit system after it was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

"There are no viable alternatives to the proposed action," they write in a $4.7 billion capital budget request that has been made available online as a PDF. "Delaying repair work could result in further service delays, increased safety risks, and lower reliability. Further, it is not tenable to substitute existing funds supporting ongoing capital projects for these restoration projects."

The MTA board is expected to discuss this and other matters at its December meeting today.

Second Ave. Saga blogger Benjamin Kabak has taken a look at the budget proposal and writes the following:

This document is notable for what it doesn’t have as well. It doesn’t have any details about preventative measures. The MTA wants nearly $5 billion to repair and restore its transit network, but it doesn’t yet know how much it needs to protect the system or what those protections will look like.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:07:53 +0000
Headlines: Cold Front Threatens Sandy Victims http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/05/headlines-cold-front-threatens-sandy-victims http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/05/headlines-cold-front-threatens-sandy-victims Between 20,000 and 40,000 were left homeless in the city by Sandy. About half of those are public-housing residents. The 115,000 people in the Rockaways remain without power, as do thousands more in Red Hook and Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn, and New Dorp Beach on Staten Island. A cold snap is making this particularly problematic. Also, a nor’easter with 35-45mph sustained winds is likely to hit on Wednesday night, possibly bringing moderate flooding in areas already impacted by extreme flooding from Sandy.

Although the majority of the subway system is reopened, rail switch and signal failures will continue. It could also take several months to restore the A train to the Rockaways.

Fifty-nine polling places will be affected, and Mayor Bloomberg expresses little confidence the Board of Elections will manage it very well. The board still hasn't appointed an executive director and their Manhattan headquarters had no power all week. Those who can't get to their polling places may to go to the Board of Election's borough offices and vote until 5 p.m. today.

The city had been inundated with people dropping off goods, so officials and other groups are suggesting they give money, and possibly coats, instead. Dozens of buildings near the water’s edge, especially in the financial district, are weeks or months away from reopening. The fuel shortage could last for several more days. Currently 27 percent of gas stations in the area are empty. Major crime dropped significantly in the storm's wake, but burglaries saw a 3 percent increase. Generators, heaters, and other supplies for the canceled marathon remained unused in Central Park. More than 100 New York City public schools will remain closed today.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:36:30 +0000
Headlines: Damage and Recovery From Sandy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/31/headlines-damage-and-recovery-from-sandy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/31/headlines-damage-and-recovery-from-sandy

Superstorm Sandy left at least 2 million homes and businesses across the state and about 800,000 customers in the city and Westchester remained without power yesterday. More than half of Staten Island is without power, and over a quarter of Manhattan is in the dark. In Manhattan there are no streetlights South of 25th St. on the Westside. The substation in the East Village that exploded was designed to withstand a 12.5 foot surge but was hit with a surge of 14 feet. Customers served by underground lines in Brooklyn and Manhattan are likely to have their power restored within four days. Bloomberg promised "a very heavy police presence" in the darkened neighborhoods. Thirteen people have been arrested for crimes that included looting.

The death toll for the city is now 22. Untreated sewage is flowing into waterways from more than a dozen locations around the city. A crane still dangles from a skyscraper in Midtown and could be there for weeks. The World Trade Center is flooded. Sand is piled up to 2 feet high on the Coney Island boardwalk. At least 111 homes were destroyed by fires in Breezy Point, Queens in a blaze among the worst residential fires in New York since the Fire Department was established in 1865.

Much of the Tristate region has been declared a major disaster area, and FEMA will distribute billions of dollars in aid, which will be a test for the troubled agency. Many homeowners who thought their insurance policies covered floods are likely to have been mistaken - a common error - while others' policies have lapsed or won't cover all the damage.

The MTA is unaware of any permanent damage to the system but is still offering no estimate for when service will be restored. Buses have started running on some routes and could return to full service by sometime today.

Many are hoping the storm will finally push New York to prepare for climate change. “Three of the top 10 highest floods at the Battery since 1900 happened in the last two and a half years," Ben Strauss, director of the sea level rise program at the research group Climate Central in Princeton, N.J. "If that’s not a wake-up call to take this seriously, I don’t know what is." Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state should consider a levee system or storm surge barriers, although Mayor Bloomberg says he is focusing on recovery for the city. Some individual parts of Sandy and its wrath seem to be influenced by climate change, several climate scientists said, but its not clear that can be said for the storm itself. Sandy broke coastal flood records for New York City by more than three feet above the previous record and more than double the range between the previous top ten.

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View from below of the Brooklyn Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Image by Barry Yanowitz, used under Creative Commons license.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 31 Oct 2012 12:38:52 +0000
Headlines: Sandy Hits Hard http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/30/headlines-sandy-hits-hard http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/30/headlines-sandy-hits-hard

The superstorm named Sandy brought flooding and power outages to the city with surges higher than the estimated 10 to 12 feet, but few deaths were reported.

The MTA is calling this the worst disaster in its history and an extended shutdown looms. Officials said it could take between 14 hours to four days to clear water from the tunnels.

At least 660,000 customers in New York had lost power as of late Monday night, and Con Ed says it could be a week before everyone gets power back. A customer is an individual meter, so the actual number of people affected is higher. Some 5.2 million people were left without electricity across the region. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the storm.

The city's storm shelters didn't reach 4 percent of their total capacity, even though Mayor Bloomberg urged 375,000 people in evacuation zones to leave, including 45,000 public housing residents. Cops with bullhorns drove building to building in the projects and Housing Authority workers knocked on doors.

Flooding overwhelmed Red Hook and Lower Manhattan. One of the units at Indian Point nuclear power plant was shut down. The boom of a construction crane for one of Manhattan's tallest residential towers was broken in the storm and dangles high above the city. 911 received 10 times more calls than usual.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 30 Oct 2012 12:38:08 +0000
Headlines: MTA Likely to Hike Base Fare http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/23/headlines-mta-likely-to-hike-base-fare- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/23/headlines-mta-likely-to-hike-base-fare-

M.T.A. Chairman Joseph Lhaota said yesterday that the base fare ride for subways and buses would likely rise when then agency votes on a fare hike plan in December. The move affects the least amount of riders, since only 15 percent buy MetroCards under $10, which don't receive bonuses. But those are also often the poorest riders. Lhota also said he'd lobby for more money from the state, which contributes less to mass transit than others with large cities.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:31:36 +0000
Headlines: MTA Fare Hike Proposals; Rubber Rooms; Earlier Primaries http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/headlines-mta-fare-hike-proposals-rubber-rooms-earlier-primaries- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/headlines-mta-fare-hike-proposals-rubber-rooms-earlier-primaries-

The M.T.A. revealed its four fare hike proposals today. Two would increase the base fare to $2.50 from $2.25 while raising the cost of unlimited MetroCards. The others wouldn't alter the base fare but would increase unlimiteds substantially. Chairman Joseph Lhota said he prefers a hybrid of the proposals. He also ruled out eliminating the bonus for pay-per-ride cards, which makes two of the proposals unlikely to pass. Costs for commuter trains, as well as bridge and tunnel crossings, will also rise. The MTA is looking for another $450 million a year from users. Fares and tolls are expected to rise again in 2015. They vote on the proposals in December.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:58:47 +0000
A Better Way to Fund the MTA http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/a-better-way-to-fund-the-mta- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/a-better-way-to-fund-the-mta- This report by the Citizens Budget Commission proposes a new way to fund the M.T.A. called "25-50-25". It recommends that auto user fees cover all drivers' facilities, plus 25 percent of mass transit services. Then mass transit user fees would cover another 50 percent of the operating costs of those services. And state and local tax subsidies would cover the final 25 percent of transit operating costs plus “catch-up” capital investments needed to bring the system to a state of good repair.

The 25-50-25 policy would mean that mass transit riders would pay higher – but still reasonable – fares. The cost of a single ride ticket would increase to at least $2.75 by 2016 but in constant dollars a subway ride would cost at most three cents more than it did in 1996. Motorists would face increased costs for the use of their vehicles, in the range of $167 to $293 more annually, but the charges would be consistent with those in other global metropolises and related to the benefits drivers derive from a well-functioning transportation system.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:55:22 +0000
Riders, Motorists Should Pay More to Finance City's Transit System, Group Says http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/10/riders-motorists-should-pay-more-to-finance-citys-transit-system-group-says http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/10/riders-motorists-should-pay-more-to-finance-citys-transit-system-group-says

A nonpartisan civic organization envisions a future where transit riders, and motorists who use tunnels and bridges, pay more to help finance the city's public transportation system.

The Citizens Budget Commission recommends that the financing of mass transit be divided using a 25-50-25 formula among the major sources of revenue that include fares, tolls, tax subsidies and other fees.

If each category of funder – driver, transit rider and general taxpayer – contributes to the cost of the region’s mass transit system in accordance with these principles, it will get the MTA off the wrong track and chart a better route for the region’s economic future. By 2016 the 25-50-25 policy would provide nearly $2.6 billion in additional annual revenue without new taxes.

The 25-50-25 policy would mean that mass transit riders would pay higher – but still reasonable – fares. The cost of a single ride ticket would increase to at least $2.75 by 2016 but in constant dollars a subway ride would cost at most three cents more than it did in 1996. Motorists would face increased costs for the use of their vehicles, in the range of $167 to $293 more annually, but the charges would be consistent with those in other global metropolises and related to the benefits drivers derive from a well-functioning transportation system.

The complete report, "A Better Way to Pay for the MTA," can be downloaded here.

Image of trains courtesy canihazit, used under Creative Commons license.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Wed, 10 Oct 2012 19:14:36 +0000
Headlines: MTA finances improved; Council redistricting called unfair http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/03/headlines-mta-finances-improved-council-redistricting-called-unfair http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/03/headlines-mta-finances-improved-council-redistricting-called-unfair

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the M.T.A.'s finances have improved after years of crises thanks to increased ridership, higher tax collection, and cost-cutting measures. But he noted that fare hikes outpace inflation and financing sources for future projects remain unclear. The legal challenge to the payroll tax was also raised as a significant hurdle. Meanwhile, the state budget has generally stabilized from the recent past, when it lurched from multi-billion dollar crisis to crisis, he said.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:32:31 +0000