First, let me say this. I lurve NYC public transportation. No, no, I’m serious. I fucking lurve it. It offers a convenience and reliability that you just won’t find anywhere in the good ol’ US of A. People who’ve lived here all their lives curse the MTA non-stop, but try living in Miami or Memphis and relying on public transpo.
Yeah, fool. That’s what I thought.
When the price of the Unlimited MetroCard was raised by $5 last year to $81, I heard plenty of folks cry foul. Umm, $81 for a system that runs 24 hours a day and takes you virtually anywhere in the city is a bargain, people. You’ll pay the same amount for a Metropass in Miami, which will give you access to a rail system that goes nowhere and buses that run with the frequency of a blue moon. I don’t see what the problem is. The city’s wonderful transit system is one of the reasons I wanted to become a New Yorker.
However, now the New York Daily News reports on proposed MTA budget cuts for 2009, and I can see how some of these changes may affect my fellow New Yorkers. Check out the highlights of the budget cuts after the jump:
- Shorten the G line so it ends at Court Square at all times – it currently runs to 71st Ave./Forest Hills on evenings, nights and weekends.
- Increase weekend intervals from eight to 10 minutes on the A D E F G J M N Q and R lines.
- Increase intervals from 20 to 30 minutes on all trains running between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
- Eliminate the W train. The Q would be extended from midtown to Astoria, and the N would run local north of Canal St. to replace the W.
- Eliminate the Z train and shorten M rush-hour service to Broad St. in Manhattan – it now runs to Brooklyn’s Bay Parkway.
- Eliminate the B23, B37, B39, Bx14, Bx34, M6, M8, M18, M27, Q84, QM22, QM23, BxM7B, X25, and X32 bus routes.
- Discontinue weekend service on the B2, B4, B7, B16, B24, B48, B57, B65, B69, B71, B75, Bx8 (Sunday only), Bx18, Bx20, Bx33, M21, M22, M50, Q14, Q31, Q76, Q79, S42, S54, S57, S60, S76, X27 and X28 bus routes.
- Discontinue weekday service on the B25, B51, B75, Bx4, Bx20, M10, M30, Q26, Q56, Q74 and Q75 routes.
- Discontinue overnight service on the B7, B14, B31, B45, B48, B57, B64, B65, B67, B77, Bx10, M1, M2, M16, M22, M23, M42, M50, M66, M79, M96, M102, M103, M104 and Q30 routes.
- Increase express bus fares to $7.50 from $5.
- Raise the Access-A-Ride fare to make it twice the subway base fare – from $2 to $4, based on current prices.
- Eliminate the station customer assistants, who help riders outside toll booths. This would cut 596 positions.
- Close 29 staffed booths in stations that have more than one full-time booth. Reduce staffing to part-time in 13 additional booths.
- Impose tighter controls on E-ZPass account balances on MTA bridges and tunnels. That will result in more drivers turned away at toll gates and longer lines.
- Eliminate rebates for Rockaway, Queens, residents who pay tolls at the Cross Bay Bridge.
- Raise booze, soda and snack prices on Metro-North Rail Road to tie them to the consumer price index.
- Cancel a program to allow Metro-North riders to buy tickets on board with credit and debit cards.
- Eliminate the Metro-North toll-free customer information center.
- Eliminate 11 Metro-North train car cleaning positions.
While none of these changes presently affect me, I can see how others may be feeling a bit tight. I just thought the title was catchy.
But at least now you’ve got some valid things to bitch about.
Photo courtesy of Improv Everywhere