Transportation Alternatives sent around a Media Round-Up to their members - and I am one - saying that the Daily News editorial on the latest MTA fare hike is a "must read." And wow! It certainly is a must read - as a great example of how not to hold anyone accountable for anything. This is the tale of the fare hike as told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
First, anyone who writes, "The MTA should" about anything that involves more than a million dollars is either clueless or lying. "The MTA" - presumably the MTA board and its Chair, Joe Lhota - don't have control over much more. It was the State Legislature, specifically Malcolm Smith and Sheldon Silver, who promised that any fare hike would be tied to service increases.
Second, anyone who writes, "Albany will" without mentioning specific legislators is either lazy or lying. Unless you have good evidence to the contrary, any time you read "Albany" in the paper, replace it with the names of your legislators. My legislators, Mike Gianaris and Marge Markey, have repeatedly insisted that drivers should never have to pay to maintain the bridges they drive on or the streets they park on at night, but they have shown no such tenacity when it comes to subway fares.
Third, since most State elections are not competitive, it's not the voters but the party leaders who decide on the candidates. The Queens Democratic machine has come down hard on anyone who even thinks about challenging incumbent legislators or their anointed successors, and worked with the Republicans to rig the election laws to make it much harder for anyone from another party to run. Party Chair Joe Crowley and the State Committee set it up so that last year I had no choice but to vote for Mike and Marge.
So it's not "Albany will," it's "Unless the MTA slashes expenses or the governor and Legislature come up with new funding, Mike Gianaris and Marge Markey and Joe Crowley will again stab straphangers in the back." Replace with your own legislators and party boss, and your state committee members if you know them, and remember it when they come asking for campaign contributions, and when they appear at the next bogus rally blaming "the MTA" for service cuts.