Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Unlimited" Subway Cards To Have Limits?!

This story just could not be any more irrational. As NYC's MTA continues to find ways to pass on an $800 million deficit to already dried-out New Yorkers, its latest ludicrous idea is to put a limit on "unlimited" Metro cards.

Truly one of the few decent deals left in town, for $89, subway and bus riders can purchase 30-day unlimited MetroCards, or a weekly pass for $27. Now the transit authority wants to impose a 90-ride limit on the monthly cards and a 21-ride moratorium on seven-day cards.

Goddamn, who do they think they are: a U.S. airline?!

Already, two fare hikes are on the books, raising a single ride from $2.25 to $2.50 in mid-2011, with another 25-cent hike in 2013—and now there's talk of imposing another hike this October. When will this madness end?

Obviously no time soon. It was reported July 9 that the MTA is also considering a $1 surcharge on replacing an unlimited fare card with a new card. This was followed by news last week that the MTA's agreement with the Transit Union—whose headstrong tenacity is wholly incongruous with the state of the economy—allows for $34 million this year on overtime for workers who are on vacation.

But wait, there's more. Let's not forget that last month four subway lines were either eliminated or shortened and 38 bus lines across New York City were completely eradicated. Meanwhile, more than 450 token booth clerks have been laid off—impacting not only service, but safety.

Soon enough, you simply can't there from here; or it will be less expensive to take a damn taxi.

How much difference does an "unlimited" MTA card make, versus one that charges beyond a set number of swipes? A fucking great deal, thanks. Yesterday, I used MTA as follows:
1) Subway from home in Brooklyn Heights BK, to Fort Greene BK, to meet with my Census supervisor. I then walked to the Census office in Downtown BK.
2) Subway from Census office home to process paperwork.
3) Subway from home back to Census office to turn in paperwork.
4) Weighted down with materials, Bus from Census office to Fort Greene to meet with Census enumerators.
5) Bus from Fort Greene to Downtown with a stop to shop at a thrift store.
6) Bus continuing from Downtown to Brooklyn Heights.
7) Subway from Brooklyn Heights to the New Music Seminar in Manhattan to network.
8) Subway from Manhattan to home in Brooklyn Heights.

I just used up eight of my allotted 21 rides for the week under MTA's dumb-ass plan, meaning that in fewer than three days, I would be under the bus (so to speak).