Monday, August 13, 2007

More MTA Questions

We have been writing about the lack of transparency and managerial competence over at the MTA. In this morning's NY Post Steve Cuozzo's column continues along this very same line; the agency has reached a point where to continue to allow it to collect revenue by raising fares is no longer an acceptable option. To use the MTA as a repository for any congestion tax is also irresponsible.

In Cuozzo's piece, the focus is on the inability of the agency to manage to even keep its own web site updated on a daily basis; and on the agency's failure to control the construction projects that are under its jurisdiction. As Cuozzo points out; "If the MTA can't keep up its web site on a dry day, should we be surprised that it can't promise that the trains will run next time it rains?"

Which leads us once again to the issue of the mayor's grand congestion tax plan. There is simply too much that is wrong with the governance of the MTA to create another revenue generating system that hits commuters in the wallet. After all, the whole stated purpose of the congestion tax is to help fund a more robust mass transit infrastructure. If we can't depend on the competence and expertise of the transit agency, how can any one in good conscience go forward with a tax scheme that is funneled into the MTA?

Which is why the call yesterday by Councilman Weprin for the mayor to create a commission to study the city's aging bridge and tunnel infrastructure, only makes partial sense. What we need is a commission to study the entire transit delivery system-with an eye towards the total revamping of the current dysfunctional public authority that has demonstrated its incompetence.

Until that happens, we shouldn't permit another penny of additional MTA funding-whether we call it a fare increase or a congestion tax. Let the mayor find another issue to tart up his efforts to present himself to a national audience.