Thompson Unveils MTA Tracking Website
New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. has unveiled an online chart and map system to help transit users understand the potential impacts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) proposed service cuts.
"The MTA has proposed drastic service cuts and a huge fare hike of 23% — both of which would severely burden New Yorkers," Thompson said. "My office has created a chart and mapping system that allows New Yorkers to see exactly how the MTA's proposed service cuts would affect their subway and bus lines."
Thompson's system, which can be accessed at www.comptroller.nyc.gov, allows users to input a ZIP code to see a table and map of what the 318 proposed MTA cuts would mean to their neighborhoods. Users also can search by subway line or bus route to see a table of the proposed cuts.
The service cut site also includes an easy-to-use sharing feature where New Yorkers can invite others to use the system to see how their transit service will be affected, either with a direct e-mail or by posting it on their Facebook or other social networking page.
The system also links to KeepNewYorkMoving.com, a site where riders can urge State legislators to fund transit.
In December 2008, the MTA announced a $1.2 billion deficit and proposed closing the gap with a 23% fare hike and major service cuts. The MTA's proposed cuts to New York City's subways and buses would increase crowding and passenger waiting times, and in many cases, cut service completely.
Among the subway cuts proposed are the elimination of the W and Z lines and portions of the M and G; fewer trains during mid-days, weekends, evenings and late nights; and a loss of 211 station booths or customer agents. Five stations would lose latenight train service altogether. A total of 56 bus lines would lose service on weekdays or weekends, with other service reductions on another 29.
Thompson's alternative to the MTA's proposal is a weight-based vehicle annual registration fee of $100 for vehicles of 2,300 pounds or less, plus 9 cents for every pound over that. Coupled with the reinstatement of the commuter tax or a payroll tax, this plan would generate almost $2 billion a year for transit.
Currently, State legislators are considering recommendations by the Ravitch Commission to fund transit, along with other proposals including Thompson's. The MTA has said it needs an influx of funds no later than March 25th, or it will have to move ahead with the hikes and cuts.
Thompson also has called on City Hall to block the proposed increase in Access-A-Ride paratransit fares from $2 to as much as $5 per trip, an increase of 150%.
The City can block the increase according to a 1993 Memorandum of Understanding between the MTA and the City that Thompson discovered late last year.