Our petite, recently de-Republicanized mayor Bloomie's got a tough row to hoe with pushing through his (totally awesome!) congestion pricing plan. Albany's been hating on it, which is no surprise given their adversarial relationship with the city (biting the hand that feeds them copious amounts of tax dollars, I say).
Anyway, today the MTA announced that it would not be able to sustain an additional influx of subway riders likely to result from the plan. The 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 trains, in particular, are operating at maximum capacity. That is, rush hour trains are packed to the gills, clown car style, and are running as frequently as possible. As MTA president Howard Roberts so weirdly put it, "There's no room in the inn." (Um, should I bed down in the stable instead?)
I ride the trains every day, and, yes, they're pretty stinking crowded. But can we really trust the MTA's assessment of anything at this point? Remember that track fire on the A line that emanated from a machine room that they tried to blame on a non-existent homeless man? Then they said the train would be out of commission for at least a year and a half while the ancient pieces were reforged (presumably their plan entailed building a time machine to travel back to 1920 to recover the original fittings?). Oh, and you can't forget when they cooked the books, keeping a false set of records to suggest that an earlier than anticipated fare increase was in order? Or how about every single day of your life when your local train starts running express, weekend service changes leave you stranded, or you stand on the platform with 500 other angry people waiting 40 minutes for a train that really has no excuse for not having shown up sooner. I mean, has the MTA ever given us a straightforward piece of information or done right by us?
I totally appreciate public transportation and realize that the system is vast and a bitch to maintain. And it doesn't surprise me that it's really passenger interference (whether by illness, holding doors open, or criminal malfeasance) that, more often than not, makes trains run late. I think our system is pretty good, especially considering how decrepit it is. All I'm saying is that the MTA lies like a dog on a rug.
Anyway, I'm curious to see how this shakes out. The MTA under Pataki was ugly, but I thought Elliot "Steamroller" Spitzer was going to bully them into compliance. Perhaps all of the MTA's sniveling will earn us even more money from the Feds to get the scheme up and running?