MTA board set to vote on fare hikes, service cuts

A day before the Metropolitan Transit Authority board is set to vote on a plan that increases fares and slashes service, opponents lined up against the plan. On Monday, the MTA finance committee voted

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2009, 11:36 PM

Updated 5,600 days ago

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A day before the Metropolitan Transit Authority board is set to vote on a plan that increases fares and slashes service, opponents lined up against the plan.
On Monday, the MTA finance committee voted in favor of the hikes. The plan now goes to the full MTA board. Officials say the hikes, affecting the LIRR, buses and the subway, will help fill the agency?s $1.2 billion budget deficit. LIRR fares could go up by 26 percent, subway fares would increase to $2.50 and fare and toll revenues would go up 23 percent.
Gov. David Paterson says while the MTA should go ahead and vote on the increases, he's still supporting an alternative plan crafted by the Ravitch Commission, which state lawmakers could still adopt. The Ravitch Commission plan calls for fare hikes of 8 percent on average and the creation of tolls for some bridges that are currently free. It also includes a payroll tax that would charge employers 33 cents for every $100 their workers make.
?This is a commuter tax in payroll clothing,? Leg. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon) says.
Bill Durcan, owner of Traxx Cleaners, agrees. ?It?s getting hard to pay the bills, no less make money,? Durcan says. ?I don't know what we can do, but to raise taxes doesn't seem to be the answer for me."
The hikes would take effect June 1, but the equation could change if state lawmakers come up with another solution.


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