MTA Announces They Are Raising Fares Again!

First they throw us a bone, THEN the drop this bad news:

Don’t get too attached to that $2.50 fare. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is set to hit straphangers with fare hikes in 2015 and again two years later, as rising long-term debt payments and soaring pension and health care expenses force higher prices per ride.
“We need to have have to have regular, predictable fare and toll increases,” said Robert Foran, chief financial officer of the MTA.

That sharp reminder of the previously announced increases came Wednesday, when the MTA updated its four-year budget plan, which would include no raises for its unions.

It followed good news for riders earlier this week, when the MTA committed to $18 million in improvements to bus and subway service and another $11 million for cleaner stations.

“You’re only as good as your last rush hour. You’re only as good as your last storm. But each and every day, the customers measure our experience and how well we’re doing,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast.

While workers won’t like the MTA’s plans to go three years without raises, the agency is also making a pledge to its riders.

“Our budgets will not include any budget-driven service cuts since those that we had to enact in 2010,” Foran said.

Riders had been lobbying for service restorations since $93 million in so-called doomsday cuts to service were made three years ago.

The plan to hit straphangers with fare increases every two years has been in place since 2009, but it won’t be clear just how much of a fare bump there will be this time around until 2015 approaches.

Many commuters weren’t thrilled.

“They keep on going up, the fare,” said one. “I don’t think it’s fair for people poor like me.”

Via Brokleyn.

East River Ferry Too Cool To Run On Schedule

image c/o The New York Times

Recapping some of your weekend commuting options:

The L sucks.

The G sucks.

And now the East River Ferry may or may not suck.

Today, the NY Waterway issued a special advisory, stating:

[T]he large number of travelers we are carrying has resulted in many boats reaching their Coast Guard mandated capacity and the loading and unloading of large crowds has at times caused delays in scheduled departures. We expect this to last throughout the free trial period which ends on June 24.  If you plan on using the East River Ferry during the free period, especially during the weekend of June 18th and 19th, you should anticipate long boarding delays.

Oh well. Chillax – it’s the weekend!.  Enjoy the view during that long platform/pier wait, or simply explore those other alternative modes of transportation.

Fun with Maps! Everybody who lives here works here also.

Image courtesey of Harry Kao

From the blog Flowing Data, the interactive designer Harry Kao has taken information from the TranStats database of commuting (did you know there was one? I didn’t!) and made these neat interactive maps that show just who’s commuting to and from your neighborhood.

I plugged in the zip 11211 and, guess what? Pretty much everyone who works here lives here too. Ok, so some people who live here work in Manhattan, and there’s some random dude (or lady!) commuting into Jersey City every day, but I guess we all gotta pay the bills somehow, right?

Anyways, check it out. And just for fun try typing in your zip and then comparing it with your parents’ or something.