Negotiations break down over state MTA bailout

Albany lawmakers rejected another bailout plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Thursday, which has stirred up frustration among all parties.
Lawmakers must come up with money for the MTA or the authority will impose what some call draconian fare hikes and service cuts. Long Island Rail Road ticket prices would jump 24 to 29 percent depending on the destination. A single ride on city subways and buses would rise from $2 to $2.50 and Long Island Bus fares would increase from $2 a ride to $3.50 a ride.
The $1.2 billion bailout plan rejected Thursday includes waiving proposed tolls on East River bridges for certain delivery vehicles and ambulances, imposing a 50-cent surcharge for each New York City taxi ride and increasing the tax on parking in Manhattan. The plan included a payroll tax on employers, which most Republicans and some Democrats stridently object.
MTA board member Mitch Pally, of Stony Brook, says Albany lawmakers must work harder to find common ground by putting out proposals that have a chance of getting support.
The MTA says it can't wait past the end of this month, because it has to start mailing out new monthly tickets, prepare service cuts and reset automatic ticket machines with the new fare hikes.