Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unpalatable Fare

The NY Times continues to editorialize against a fare increase, blithely unaware of just how much its own arguments go a long way towards refuting the rationale for the mayor's congestion tax plan. In an ironic twist, they argue that the fare increase actually threatens the mayor's proposal, but remain clueless as to just why this is so: "The rush to a fare increase could also help to subvert Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, which Albany must act on by the end of March. If congestion pricing — which calls for a fee to drive into parts of Manhattan — is approved, it should generate a considerable amount of money for mass transit."

What's missing here is something that the Times pointed out last summer. The congestion relief that the mayor envisions comes with a huge price tag that the expensive system he proposes will fall far short of actually covering-and, as the paper has remarked elsewhere, there's no reason to give the agency a nickel until a greater degree of transparency is attained on how the MTA is governed.

Therefore, before we do anything, a full re-organization of the transit governing system needs to be implemented. Otherwise, the continued fare-hiking, and a new congestion tax, will end up pouring money down an unaccountable black hole.