On the bright side, student Metrocards are no longer at stake, but were they ever really a serious consideration? Sure, it would have saved big bucks, but to force the poorest families to shell out an extra $890 (one month unlimited ride Metrocard $89 x 10 months) per child when they can barely afford to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads sounds almost barbaric in this day and age. No way they would've completely cut student Metrocards. We believe it was just a ploy to get people all riled up and then assuage their concerns in the face of other sweeping transportation cuts. You may be thinking, “whew, at least they didn't cut student Metrocards,” but this was their plan all along!
Bet many New Yorkers are now reconsidering their position on congestion pricing, the mayor's proposal to charge drivers entering Midtown during the workday. The proposal died in the Assembly because apparently opposition was so strong legislators couldn't bear to even vote on it. Not only did the state lose out on the money that would've been generated by tolls, we also lost a federal transportation improvement grant of over $350 million. Straphangers are now being forced to bear the burden. The mayor's sustainability blueprint, PlaNYC, has estimated that by 2030 there will be 1 million more people living in NYC. That's a million more people on our roads and subways and buses. And you think your commute now is bad; wait and see what it'll be like in 20 years.
These long-anticipated cuts have been made, saving the MTA an estimated $100 million or so...now what? In a year or two, the MTA will be threatening fare hikes and layoffs again, and we'll be right back where we started, except there won't be anything left to cut. Yep, the scene before us is probably already feeling familiar.