Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HOPE. Perhaps it's gonna be OK... perhaps.

Finally the fat cats have paused long enough in licking their whiskers to make a decision about the fate of the little people, and not a moment too soon. Fare hikes and service cuts, including the eradication of two entire lines, was scheduled to occur in just a few short weeks. Now, it seems that we'll take a bit of a hit in the pocket, but not much else. Unfortunately, this may be a quick fix to what is actually a long term problem. But what else is new? As usual, I suppose we'll have to jump off that bridge when we come to it.

Below, the latest from the New York Times City Room blog on the status of the situation.

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May 6, 2009, 9:11 am

Legislators Reach Deal on M.T.A. Rescue Plan

morning buzz

Gov. David A. Paterson announced the long-awaited deal to rescue the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday night, which generally keeps fare increases to 10 percent instead of 20 to 30 percent.

Under the deal, the base fare for a single bus or subway ride would rise to $2.25 from $2. The cost of a monthly MetroCard would probably rise to about $89 from $81. Other fares and tolls, including tickets on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, would go up about 10 percent.

The plan calls for a payroll tax, a 50 cent surcharge on taxi rides and increases in vehicle-registration and license fees and the auto-rental tax.

The New York Post adds that the state Senate is expected to vote on and pass the $2.26 billion bailout bill at its 11 a.m. session on Wednesday morning. Then it would head to the assembly and the governor.

Read City Room’s rundown on what the M.T.A. bailout could mean to you.

The Daily News adds that transit officials have said that they would likely push back the May 31 and June 1 fare-hikes to do the computer programing and other necessary work to implement the scaled-back increases. The News also points out that the streamlined capital plan could mean an extended No. 7 line — but not more frequent service.