Monday, December 15, 2008

MTA Giftwrapping Its Lump of Coal

This week the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors is expected to approve the so-called "Doomsday" budget that would hike bus, subway and commuter rail fares in the New York City metropolitan areas by 23 percent or more. But the pain won't stop there.

The Daily News reports 150 subway stations would experience service reductions. Four on the N line - City Hall, Cortlandt St. and Rector St. in Manhattan, and Lawrence St. in downtown Brooklyn - would be shut between 11 p.m. and 6 p.m. During those hours, the N train, which normally operates through lower Manhattan, would be rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge.

The severity of the fare hikes and service reductions could be offset if the New York State legislature approves a bailout proposal crafted by a state commission headed by former MTA Executive Director Richard Ravitch that calls for tolls on East and Harlem River bridges and a payroll tax.

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