Paez Not On Board
Dr. Rudy Paez wrote a cute, sarcastic letter (WAVE 10/8/10) about the financing of New York transit. Un-fortunately his facts and conclusions are incorrect.
Transit workers and many other public workers earn their pensions after many years of stressful and demanding service to the community. If we feel that pension benefits for civil service workers are more generous than those for private sector employees, the solution is to improve pensions in the private sector.
Congestion pricing was designed as a tool to reduce unnecessary auto travel into central business districts. It would be unfair to impose these onerous tolls on residents of areas without efficient rapid transit service. Rockaway needs direct service to Manhattan by reopening the Rockaway Beach line and a subsidized ferry serving the whole peninsula.
The commuter tax was always opposed by suburban Republicans. They currently oppose the regional MTA payroll tax, which is similar to the commuter tax, which supports the MTA budget. Will Dr. Paez support the concept of a regional responsibility for transportation and condemn those Republicans who are currently attacking Democratic State Senators Brian Foley (Suffolk) and Craig Johnson (Nassau) who voted for the payroll tax?
The most damaging blow to improved public transportation in our NY-NJ region is the cancellation by New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie of the trans-Hudson rail tunnel. While the cancellation appears to be a painful blow to mass transit riders and advocates in New Jersey, it is also a painful setback to those of us who have fought for reopening the Rockaway Beach LIRR line.
During peak hours our trains would compete for space on the crowded LIRR main line. Commuter trains back up entering Penn Station reducing the number of tracks available to trains from Oyster Bay, Babylon or Rockaway. The trans-Hudson tunnel will allow the trains to pass through to New Jersey and make more space available. Governor Christie is doing great harm to us as well as to his constituents.
Dr. Paez favors the election of representatives who are not politicians. All citizens are eligible to run for office. We must choose those representatives who have studied the issues and can propose and help enact legislation to solve our problems. Dr. Paez and his friends are welcome to join our non-partisan efforts to solve our transportation problems.