When MTA CEO Elliot Sander gave his “state of the MTA” address just a few weeks ago, he spoke of increasing service on 11 subway lines and adding trains and cars on the LIRR and Metro-North, among other projects totaling some $30 million dollars.
While his trip to the podium wasn’t quite as ignominious as another Elliot S’s around the same time, those improvements appear to be nothing but a pipe dream. After Mayor Bloomberg urged the MTA to recheck its finances, the Authority decided it didn’t have the funds for the improvements.
Which is a wee bit bogus, as the hike in fares and tolls was sold as a way to improve the rider experience. In short, we get the fare hike without the improvements.
The shortfall was chiefly caused by a sharp drop in taxes from real estate transactions, transportation authority officials said. They held out hope that if finances improve by the summer, they could go ahead with the improvements, writes the NY Times.
Comments Straphangers Campaign mouthpiece Gene Russianoff to the Times, “They obviously couldn’t deliver on the promises they made at the time the fare went up, and that’s unfortunate, and it will make people very skeptical about future announcements.”
SecondAvenueSagas calls it “The MTA’s Worst Monday Ever.”
“…acknowledging this reality so soon after the fare hike is a terrible public relations move by the MTA,” SAS writes. “…This announcement hits the MTA at its weakest point. The agency, long viewed with skepticism by New Yorkers, has lost any shred of credibility when it needs it the most. Now, the public will not believe that the MTA ever planned to deliver the promised service upgrades. The authority simply used those upgrades to sell the public on a fare hike.”
What a horrific mess.