According to recent Newsday articles:
- On the LIRR—the largest commuter railroad in North America, with an average weekday ridership of about 300,000—fare increases will range from 24 percent to 29 percent.
According to my calculations:
- My commute will now cost me over $350 a month.
Needless to say, I am not happy. And considering my innate—and frustrating to everyone around—ability and need to consider situations from all angles, I can only imagine what the non-negotiator personality types are thinking… saying, blogging, being put away for… in response to this announcement.
It was inevitable: Unemployment is up –> MTA ridership is down –> fewer trains are required –> less money is being collected. The riders were doomed before the “doomsday budget” even made the back page. (Thank you Wall Street!)
It’s a cycle that we are forced to ride—ride standing up in the vestibule surrounded by rude cell phone chatters and a mix of iPod music that is causing their owners to go prematurely deaf but preventing them from pushing the obnoxious phone callers and their over-priced, over-featured phones into the gap! Yeah, it’s a cycle, a roller coaster, part of life… and one day, we will get half of the service cuts back, the prices won’t decrease, but life will be good because we have jobs and once again have funds to invest in the stock market (HAHAHA!) so we will accept it.
What I am having trouble understanding is, why such a large increase at once? Why didn’t they raise it by 2 percent every year or 5 percent every couple years? Didn’t the 25 percent—give or take some—increase in 1981 and 2003 upset commuters? Was there not an uproar then? If this has happened before, why not address it before it happens again?
I don’t imagine the MTA peeps were just hanging out organizing train schedules when suddenly one day, the lonely bookkeeper came running in and said, “Oh boy! Guys, I think we have a problem—like a $1.2-billion deficit kind of problem.” (FTR, the original faux quote I made up sounded so British—full of ‘mate’s and ‘bugger’s—it made me chuckle and yearn for a pint at a pub, but I changed it because I doubt they give out American work visas to Brits who want to work within public transport. I mean, come on, transporting a bulk amount of people from one place to another in a metal contraption with wheels isn’t exactly their forte.)*
I have lost my train of thought. Basically, I am not happy about this. I am not happy that 34 percent of my after-tax pay goes straight to transporting myself to a job I love, in a city I’m becoming indifferent about, on a train that makes me want to vomit.
Maybe it’s time to get out that bike I bought last year so I can at least kill the car costs.
What the Commuters Think…
Azzy Zeyghami, LIRR Commuter
“‘Fare hikes suck…’ you can quote me if you like.”
What are your thoughts on the MTA fare hikes?
Leave me a comment!