I am not living in NYC at the moment, but I am looking to move back as soon as the ink dries on my diploma. (No offense, Jersey, but I just don’t love you like I love NYC!)
The proposed service cuts by the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) will affect daily commuters who come from CT and NJ (and PA!) and must use the subway to connect to their offices from major transport hubs, as well as tourists who come into the city to sightsee and shop.
Check out the NYC Comptroller’s MTA Cuts Web Application – How will cuts affect your neighborhood?
If the economy improves and/or there’s a billion or three dollars magically found by the MTA, we’ll then have to face the effects of a lack of maintenance, job cuts and service cuts. Can we eliminate entire subway lines and bus routes today, then turn around two or five years later and expect them to work just like they did before we hit the switch?
I really don’t think so. We have to work toward finding a solution to the current financial crisis. It is unfair and unreasonable to ask citizens to give up convenience and safety (even if it is perceived safety) because of blatant, continued mismanagement of funds. If anything, citizens need to demand changes within the MTA. Will new management help? Dedicated funding? Insistence of more/better oversight by the government or citizen groups? Change has got to happen. Whether that change is higher fares or tolls on the East River, the MTA has got to keep the current service levels – and possibly extend them to pick up additional transit riders, thus generating more revenue that can be used to finance operations.
Additionally, we have to solve this conflict about how the MTA is funded versus what reality looks like – dedicated annual funding is important, as well as the flexibility to use funds for operations and capital improvements as the agency sees fit. The MTA must also look into how to fund new and expanded subway and train lines (Can I get a subway directly from the Bronx to Queens to Brooklyn? Or the full 2nd Avenue Subway?). Rail transit has more influence on how to impact future growth – because it is permenant and dedicated right of ways ensure speed and quality of service. So let’s get on with it, keep the existing service and finance expanded service for a better New York.