Promising Aid, Lawmakers Ask MTA Not to Raise Fares

Following weeks of relative silence on the issue, state legislators have written a letter to the MTA asking it to postpone a planned fare hike in order to give Albany time to work up a funding increase.

Lawmakers and transit advocates made the announcement today at City Hall.

City Room reports:

If the authority holds off until next April, it would give Gov.
Eliot Spitzer and the Legislature “a chance to provide additional funds
needed in order to avoid a fare increase,” the lawmakers and advocates
wrote in their letter.

“Fare increases are a last resort,” said Assemblyman Richard L.
Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat. “After 12 years of neglect under the
Pataki administration, we want to work with the M.T.A., the city and
state governments to change the failed policies of the past.”

The letter said: “There are many strong reasons for increasing
government aid to the M.T.A. There has been no permanent new state
operating aid to M.T.A. New York City Transit in at least a dozen

The letter was signed by New York City Comptroller William C.
Thompson Jr. and 22 Assembly members: Adam Bradley, James F. Brennan,
Richard L. Brodsky, Kevin A. Cahill, William Colton, Ruben Diaz Jr.,
Richard N. Gottfried, Michael N. Gianaris, Carl E. Heastie, Hakeem S.
Jeffries, Janele Hyre-Spencer, Micah Z. Kellner, David G. McDonough,
Joan L. Millman, Mike Spano, Catherine T. Nolan, Daniel J. O’Donnell,
N. Nick Perry, Linda B. Rosenthal, Robert K. Sweeney, Harvey Weisenberg
and Keith L. T. Wright.

Whether legislators can stop focusing on one another long enough to advance a substantive public policy initiative (with or without the use of medication) remains to be seen.