The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City passed their 2010 budget today. Most budgets are passed without any notice and if so, maybe a brief mention on the 11 o’clock local news–But today was a different story. I recieved a breaking news alert via a text message from WABC-Channel 7 in New York City.
What’s the big deal?
Well, the budget calls for the elimination of over a dozen bus lines and the W and Z trains. I’m not sure whose bright idea this was but it’s not a very bright idea. Just wait for a train, N or W, any day of the work week along the elevated tracks on 31st Avenue in Astoria and Long Island City. It’s miserable as it is now.
On the ride from Times Sqaure aboard a W train today, some straphangers mentioned the elimination of the very train they were riding as a matter-of-fact statement. One person responded in disgust, mentioning even longer lines to board a train and an even more cramped subway space.
The budget cuts doesn’t just affect morning commuters, it also affects students. The budget also calls for the city to stop distributing free Metrocards to junior high and high school students across the city. Some not familiar with New York City may think that students shouldn’t get a free ride. But, what most people don’t realize is that the city does not provide a school bus system for most if its schools. When I attended public school from grades k-5, my mother paid for a private bus service to transport me to and from school every morning because I was too young to take the two buses needed to get me to school.
It seems like the MTA is always in a mess. The budget seems to always be operating in a deficit even though the MTA is America’s largest transit system and has the most customers nationwide. After a 25 cents fair hike over the summer, one would think that the MTA would manage their budget better.