Monday, July 26, 2010
What Sucks…The Subway, The Bus, The MTA, The NJT and the Truth
Lookit, I’m definitely undermanned in this war I am waging against the suck and I simply do not have the resources to devote to covering something that sucks on such a vast scope as the MTA (or NJ Transit for that matter), but nonetheless, I have to throw some interference up here. CUTTING already shitty service while jacking up what it costs to ride the subway AND adding a fee for buying a new Metrocard is an absolute disgrace.
On the surface, the story is that the MTA has a massive budget gap and is being forced to make cuts in services and maintenance to try and close it. Bus lines have been cut and staff ranging from ticket booth clerks to train cleaners have been laid off. Bad news especially on the cleaning staff front when you consider that fully staffed the system was losing the war against the smell of pee citywide. Half staffed, well, I don’t know what will happen, just hope there isn’t a surge in popularity of asparagus, or it could be a perfect storm of destruction.
Let’s also throw into consideration for a moment the monumental mismanagement of the MTA. You see, before the Metrocard, people bought subway tokens. For the most part, paying for riding the subway was something you did every time you rode- more often than not- waiting on a line, paying 3 bucks a pop. Sure you could buy a ten-pack of tokens, but it was a pain in the ass and really your only motivation for buying them was to avoid the line. (There was no- “buy 10 rides get one free” thing like there is for the Metrocard.)
The line was a miserable experience. There you were trapped, free to be accosted by the homeless. Precious moments of your life ticked away as every tourist in NY asked you how to get to the “Seaport” or “TKTS”. If you survived, your reward was getting to the front of the line where you would buy a token from someone whose communication skills, combined with the quality of the microphone in their booth, left you, sadly, knowing that the only thing you WERE able to understand was that you were being sassed.
POST Metrocard however, had people basically spending 20, 50 and 80 dollars at a time for their transportation before they rode. There was a huge influx of cash into the MTA system. People were paying for subway service in advance. If you bought an unlimited card, the MTA got its money and if you used it enough, you could actually save money. A rare victory for the consumer and city- for probably about 20 minutes until somehow this windfall got fucked up and the MTA was back at trying to jack up the rates again.
Which brings us to where we are today, where a municipality is openly charging you MORE, for providing you with LESS because budget-wise no one can get their shit together. And yes, it is a disgrace that ridership remains up- business basically good- and yet the consumer gets screwed, but this particular round of MTA/ NJT driven misery has a different feel. It’s like they’re not even trying to make it seem like they give a shit- its like they don’t even feel bad. Its strange, I guess I miss the lying.
As someone who is paying for the rate hike, I think I deserve to be lied to. What happened, MTA/ NJT? Did you have to downsize the guy in charge of lying to the public? Is he out of a job too? The fact that the MTA is not even trying to bullshit me is offensive and by the way I contribute it more to them being lazy than considerate. Afterall, there is laziness all over this thing- for Christsakes, the MTA is actually saying they are going to put “limits” on their “unlimited” Metrocards- creating a widely mocked oxymoron and ruining something they spent 15 years branding, overnight. Think of another term for it, you idiots!
Take notice a-holes: if we can’t summon the energy to lie to the public, we are losing sight of what makes us great as a society- putting perfume on turds what keeps the middle class getting up in the morning! Don’t make us buy guns and storm the capital!
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