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Only with the MTA does a loss appear like a win.
The agency that runs the public transit system won’t hike fares 25 percent and institute extreme bus and subway cuts.
Instead, they are kicking up fares an average of about 10 percent without service cuts.
Additionally, the MTA is eliminating about 600 subway station assistants through attrition.
Under the increases affective June 28, the single fare ride will climb to $2.25 from $2; the one−day unlimited will increase to $8.25 from $7.50; the seven−day pass will jump to $27 from $25; the 14−day will go to $51.50 from $47; and the monthly pass will go to $89 from $81.
“Today we implemented a bittersweet solution that comes with additional pain for our customers, our employees and those who live and work in our region,” said MTA Board Chair H. Dale Hemmerdinger, after the board passed the vote. “But it will – at least for the short term – prevent the Armageddon that loomed large when we last met.”
The vote came after Gov. David A. Paterson and legislative leaders reached a $2.26−billion bailout plan, paid for, with among other things, a payroll tax and a 50−cent surcharge on all yellow cab rides in the city.
The bailout also killed the proposal to toll the East River bridges, effectively charging Brooklyn motorists to enter Manhattan.
Under the Albany plan, fares are also expected to increase another 7.5 percent in 2011 and 2013.
The bailout also calls for a consolidation of the MTA’s CEO and Chairperson of the board into one position. Currently, CEO Elliot G. Sander makes $340,000, while the chair is an unpaid position, according to the MTA press office.
However, Sander resigned following the votes effective May 22, and Hemmerdinger’s term ends next month, leaving a vacuum in the MTA leadership.
“It has been a great honor to lead the 70,000 hardworking men and women who run the world’s greatest public transportation system,” said Sander, who former Gov. Eliot Spitzer appointed about three years ago,
“I wish Governor Paterson the best of luck in choosing a successor who will build on the progress the MTA has made over the past two and a half years,” he added.
Part of Albany’s bailout package also calls for a legislative audit of the MTA next year and the ability for the legislature to pursue an audit every two years.
Paterson’s spokesperson did not return several calls as to when the governor will make an appointment.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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