N.Y. Drivers’ Unexpected Ally: The New York Times Metro Desk

So the Times’ William Neuman went out to interview subway and bus riders about implementing tolls on East and Harlem River bridges to help fund the MTA. Here’s what he found:

While straphangers who opposed tolls were in the minority of those interviewed, far more common in the interviews last week were transit riders who feared the looming fare increases and supported bridge tolls.

No surprise there, right? Thing is, that little nugget above was buried halfway into an article headlined, "N.Y. Drivers’ Unexpected Allies: Transit Riders." And here’s how Neuman (or his editor) chose to lede the article and sum up their man-on-the-subway findings:

Interviews with residents in these districts revealed that the holdout legislators have tapped into a concern shared by many of their constituents, even among those where it might be least unexpected: transit riders. And while toll opponents made up a spirited minority among straphangers interviewed in recent days, their views stood out, because they were both unexpected and passionately held.

As one Streetsblog commenter put it this morning:

Why doesn’t Willie Neuman just write an op-ed stating his personal
opposition to bridge tolls instead of hunting out a few subway riders
with contrarian and illogical positions on the matter?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Doomsday Open Thread: What’s Your Plan?

|
Now that they’ve covered the all-important transit riders against bridge tolls angle, William Neuman and the Times are asking straphangers how they plan to deal with seemingly imminent fare hikes and service reductions. Commenter #1’s response: Bicycle So, assuming tomorrow’s MTA board vote brings about the doomsday scenario in June, what’s your strategy? More walking […]

Public Advocate de Blasio Open to Bridge Tolls to Fund Transit

|
Yesterday, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio organized volunteers to campaign for student MetroCards at 20 subway stations across the city. We were encouraged by his decision to focus attention on legislators in Albany, and we had one big question: What funding solutions does the public advocate envision for the recession-battered MTA and the millions of […]

Transit Riders to Diaz: Not In Our Name

|
Constituents picketed outside the office of Ruben Diaz, Sr. yesterday to urge the Bronx state senator to get behind the MTA rescue plan, which includes new tolls on East and Harlem River bridges. Though some 140,000 people in his district use transit every day, and are facing serious service cuts along with steep fare hikes, […]

Support the MTA Rescue: Be Your Own Lobbyist

|
As debate on the MTA rescue plan is reduced to stall tactics and race-baiting, the Campaign for New York’s Future is organizing a Lobby Day citizen bus trip to Albany, set for next Wednesday, March 18. With several State Senators saying they will refuse to pass a funding plan that includes bridge tolls, your voice […]