New Yorkers can’t agree on many things, but for sure we can come together on one thing-THE MTA FARE INCREASE. It’s happening this weekend, and it should be making everyone angry!
I mean, it’s easy to be angry in New York. The Knicks are the worst, 99 cent stores have less and less for a buck, and winter just won’t leave shit alone. The fruit selection hasn’t improved at the bodega, push always comes to shove and there’s never a legal place to take a leak.
All of that notwithstanding, it’s still one rock stuck in my craw, one wrong that won’t ever be righted until the Walking Dead come a-knocking and I need to stand on a apple box and to shout my displeasure… The MTA is a bunch of clowns!
Not like it matters what I think. Not that it matters what anybody thinks, because the MTA has proven to be tone death to the hand that feeds it. That hand is attached to a body and those bodies are attached to brains and most brains can’t compute why a fare hike is always the answer to budget shortcomings. These recent increases have been far too frequent.
I’m not even coming at it from a subway of yore mindset. I mean, I was very keen on tokens because they were not just a token for the subway, but a token that represented NYC, when NYC was not surviving on fairy dust and a reputation of being an exceptional-a$$ city.
Perhaps that was in an era when the population of NYC wasn’t skewed so heavy on out of town transplants. When the face of a fare increase was a hardworking mother, who toiled as a cleaning lady in a hotel or was a long suffering administrative assistant at a midtown law firm.
So as the face-scape of the city has changed, so it seems has the empathy for the rider. The current face of the fare increase is an L train rider, who lives in a structural behemoth on the river, that’s constructed of stainless steel and glass, to whom an extra 25 cents doesn’t really mean much. But the fare increase hurts lower income workers, so for all intents and purposes, NYC MTA hates all the mothers working long hours for little pay.
Which clown decided that the metrocard was a good idea? It’s such an extremely inefficient payment system, that Bitcoins would make more sense. The ubiquitous “please swipe again at this turnstile” message is the stuff of nightmares, though that message is a bit better than “Just Used”, which is the MTA version of a straight gaffle. I could go on forever about the showtime dancers, construction on tracks, delays, unannounced reroutes, the homeless problem, the showtime dancers, who need mentioning again, and a bunch of other gripes, but I’m keenly aware that running a subway and bus system the size of NYC is Mike Tyson tough; but why keep raising the fare?
$15,000,000-thats the amount of money that the Subway makes on some days, which I extrapolated from the MTA’s own assertion that over a few days in September 2014, Six Million people rode the subway. That would be $450,000,000 a month. That’s a half -billion dollars a month. Not even Allen Iverson could mismanage that money, let alone people with MBAs and advanced degrees in running shit. I would add up the yearly revenue from subway fares to establish annual revenue, but I would also need to factor in revenue from the city buses, which could take a very long time; like an actual trip on a city bus.
So if the subway brings in Jay-Z’s net worth every month, not including the buses, or Dr. Zizmor’s advertising spend (subway advertising is not free), and the subway clerks that disappear like snapchat pics, along with their salaries; how is it that the fare needs to be increased every two or three years? Is MC Hammer running the MTA? The debt load is massive, coming in at 34.1 Billion dollars for this year, but that’s a result of massive mismanagement, faulty planning, foolish decisions and just general fuckery. Should the rider pay for that?
So you know what I’m going to do when the fare gets increased this Sunday, March 22nd? I’m going to pay that 25 cents, because I am not in the X-Men and hence, can’t teleport myself to and fro. But that’s the worst part, the MTA knows people will submit, knows that folks need the subway and buses, because it’s a huge city and hence it’s a commuter city, but it’s our city, and we’re getting the short end of the fare stick, ad infinitum.
If you see me furiously swiping my card, angling my face away from the foot of a showtime dancer or jabbing my hand in the door of a rerouted train, since I got off, heard the announcement at the last minute and realized I needed to stay on, please understand that under my resting Rich face, I am seething something terrible.