One of the worst aspects of the current plan to properly fund the MTA is that out of a concern for parity and "fairness" to upstate it would tax cab rides to fund upstate road and bridge construction. Some have rightly argued that this would encourage more car use upstate, offsetting any gains in transit ridership. However, there's something to be said for people upstate feeling left out.
The simple solution is to use revenue (not taxi surcharges, because that would encourage more private car use) to fund upstate rail and bus use. That would do a lot more for upstate than simply feeding their driving habits. The DOT just released a state rail plan; I'd be happy to chip in for that. Also, transit systems around the country are facing budget shortfalls, and I'm sure that some of those systems are upstate.
I thought the main argument against taxing taxis to pay for roads upstate is because roads upstate already get state capital construction funding, while the MTA got zero from the state for most of the last 20 years. Parity this isn't. Parity would be restoring state funding for MTA capital construction, preferably to the level of 20%, where it was in the 80's. Of course, without new taxes or tolls that would mean cuts somewhere else, maybe even cuts in road construction.
As an upstater, yes please -- we need more rail and better transit upstate. We need it very very badly.
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