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Increased Ridership Doesn't Mean Increased Transit for MTA Increased Ridership Doesn't Mean Increased Transit for MTA

Increased Ridership Doesn't Mean Increased Transit for MTA

by Patrick James
December 15, 2009

Remember last year, when American public transit usage hit a five-decade high? Well, apparently massive increases in ridership across the board can still leave some cities in public transit peril. New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority-which provides an average of 8.7 million rides a week-is reporting an unexpected tax revenue and financing shortfall of $383 million. That spells inconvenience for just about anyone who uses mass transit. From City Room:
Starting mid-year, fewer subway trains would run in the middle of the day, late at night and on weekends. Two lines, the W and Z, would stop running altogether, and service on the M and G lines would be reduced. Several stations in Lower Manhattan would be closed overnight, and dozens of bus lines throughout the boroughs would see a reduction or elimination in service.
Student riders will see some of their discounts diminish (or just disappear), and handicapped riders will lose some services. It's not an absolute disaster-and the shortfall is apparently less bad than expected-but you really have to shake your head when these sorts of services fall apart amid such high demand. I wonder whether this development would strengthen or weaken the argument for free (and subsidized) mass transit systems?Photo (cc) by Flickr user Rober-.
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