Once again, the MTA is looking for taxpayers and bus and subway riders to bail out their massive mismanagement and inefficiencies.
Enough is enough! It’s time to tell the MTA to get its act together or file for bankruptcy and start from scratch.
There are two major reasons why every year the MTA year cries that it’s run out of money and needs more revenue to survive. It’s a bottomless pit. Their quest for higher taxes and fares will never cease until they first get control of their massive spending spree.
At the same time, the MTA is asking for paying patrons to shell out more for a subway or bus ride, they and their liberal allies in city government look the other way as thousands of people cheat the system by jumping the turnstiles. In total, the fare beaters cheated the system out of $500 million a year in lost revenue. Instead of going after the fare beaters, the bureaucrats devised a system of congestion pricing where Long Island commuters will have to pay for simply driving into New York City.
And, to add insult to injury, Governor Hochul has called for further increases in the payroll tax that Long Island businesses will pay to make up for the shortfalls in the subway and bus systems.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen nothing done to rein in the crazy work rules of the Long Island Rail Road or the outlandish overtime that gets factored into pensions exceeding $100,000 a year. Some managers, to their credit, tried to bargain givebacks from the unions, but the unions hold the upper hand because the railroad is one of the few public transit systems that still has the right to strike, thereby paralyzing the region. The feds must immediately end this blackmailing option and put the railroad on par with all other needed services.
We need elected officials who will fight for taxpayers and commuters. Good luck with that.
There is another option: Allow the MTA to file for bankruptcy. It doesn’t mean they stop operating. It simply would put the MTA on par with counties or cities that reach rock bottom and require the help of a bankruptcy court or receiver that can have the authority to rewrite crazy work rules and obtain needed givebacks that can make the operations financially sustainable.
If New York City could go into receivership in the 1970s and Nassau County in the 1990s could be assigned a control board, why can’t the MTA at this point? It’s a far better alternative than once again raising fares or taxes.