Defending the MTA (someone has to)

The subway smells like a variety of unpleasantries, any morning commute train is so packed that there is not enough room to move your arm to get something in your pocket, and the price to take the tube is going up all the time while service becomes more and more patchy. What a sham, right?

You Can Fit!

Get In There! You're Going to be Late!

It’s certainly not the most ideal run agency in the world. All of the above is true. Take this into account and then watch the “progress” of the 2nd Avenue/T Line or a proposed 11.3% pay increase for transit workers and I’m ready to scream.

But wait, it’s the New York City transit system that made this city what it is today. Without the subway, New York would have become another LA, Houston, or Miami, where a car is necessary. One could attribute many of New York’s identifying characteristics directly to the subway. For example, if we drove, the city would have to allocate this amount of space to parking and new roads. Crazy. Goodbye urban center, hello urban sprawl.

Having a 24/7/365 transit system also allows residents to save a ton of fucking money. Here’s a helpful transit cost calculator (this doesn’t include added costs of driving in a city, such as parking violations, or the added risk of a break-in). Putting in the data for my parents two cars, it costs them about $1300 a month to own and operate. Taking into account my sister lives with them and does not own a car, that’s $433 and change per person per month. That’s more than 5 times what I spend (i buy a monthly subway metrocard), or $350 more dollars. That means I have $350 extra dollars a month to put bar into the economy. Awesome for me, and awesome for NYC. I can spend this money at restaurants, sporting events, bars, museums, etc because I don’t have to own and operate my own vehicle. Awesome. I’m of course not taking into account the taxes we pay which funds the construction, but this is obviously far short of $350 a month.

Think about this as well…let’s say you’re drunk, disabled, sleepy, 14 years old or have some other issue that prevents you from being able to operate a vehicle. It doesn’t matter in New York. You can go anywhere in the city (and metro area, really) and not have to worry about operating the transportation system. For that benefit alone, I think I would pay more than my parents pay.

So where am I going with this? I’m trying to defend the MTA and the

short shorts

If you drove to work, you'd miss this. You wouldn't want that, right?

NYC transit system in general. When the price goes up to $2.25 from $2, let’s not throw a shitfit. You’re not helping the situation and you look like a fucking idiot. It is completely reasonable to ask if this price increase is really necessary, no doubt about that. But in reality, I would be happy to pay $150 a month in knowing it would help the MTA build an even

more amazing transit system. Transportation costs are a necessity for anyone needs to leave their house and under $90 bucks a month is a steal.

“At $103 a month you’d expect they’d have a sauna, a pool and a Pilat

es class down there.” You know that advertisement? Yea. I fucking hate it it. For $103 I expect them to have an efficient, fairly clean (it’s not exactly a clean-room down there, but it’s not Mumbai either) system that takes me from point A to point B in under an hour.

The next time there is a MTA price increase (right now, scheduled for 2011)lets all just relax. Let’s ask, first, if this is really necessary. We should be able to look at the MTA’s budget, inflation rates, and necessary demands and verify if this is a reasonable request. Judging from history, I doubt if the MTA is going to propose an unreasonable price. As taxpayers, we own the subway. Let’s try and manage this great asset to the best ability. If it takes more money, than that’s what we gotta do.


2 Responses to “Defending the MTA (someone has to)”

  1. November 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Or NYC politicians could just grow some balls and say “tiny tax hike for the super-rich” instead of effectively flat-taxing the city’s poor and middle-class with each fare increase. That’s all toll and fare hikes are — new flat taxes pols can classify as “fee increases” so it can’t be used to smear them come campaign season.

  2. November 10, 2009 at 4:54 am

    yea, but there’s always going to be room for a tiny little tax on the rich. once that tiny little tax goes into effect, then we should add another one on the rich too for something else. i don’t really want to debate economic theory in the comment section. all i’m saying is that transportation in this city is outrageously cheap and i can’t see anything wrong with minor increases in fares. we have a great service, but can’t expect it to get better just by complaining and not paying for any improvements.

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