New York City public transportation, once again, is getting shafted by city and state elected officials, political appointees and MTA board members. Whether lining their own pockets, their campaign coffers or kissing ass with NYC’s business elite and real estate developers, stupidity, more than corruption, rules the day. The latest moronic proposal on the table is to extend the #7 train to, of all places, New Jersey. Why? So NYC can attempt to tap into the federal dollars Governor Christie of NJ passed on to build a new rail tunnel between NY and NJ. Knowing MTA incompetence, there will be cost overruns.
Once upon a time (1966-1999) we had something called the Commuter Tax. Said tax was levied on individuals working in New York City who commuted from the bedroom communities north, east, south and west of the city. Their presence taxed the NYC infrastructure (to the tune of about $1.5B per year), but they wanted to be the economic carpetbaggers they are and get the lucre without contributing to the kitty. When Upstaters needed to be curried favor from during a special election and Connecticut-based financial industry execs threatened to move their businesses from NYC the government gave away the store. Upstaters still hate Downstaters (who provide a majority of the tax revenue that goes into Albany’s coffers) and the financial guys (hedge funders et al) all moved their businesses to Connecticut anyway. An abridged version of the commuter tax was reinstituted in 2009 called the Metropolitan Community Transportation Mobility Tax with the monies collected to be poured down the black hole called the MTA.
From a native New Yorker (unlike all the yuppies, illegal aliens and tourists that abound) here’s what would help NYC and its residents more than trains to nowhere (see JFK) and trans-Hudson rail links (a freight line from NJ through Staten Island on through to Brooklyn and Queens onward towards Long Island to take the trucks off the streets would improve the fiscal and health issues, such as asthma, facing our city).
1. Extend the #7 down 11th Avenue to connect with World Trade Center/Fulton Street Transit Center.
2. Extend the # 7 eastwards toward Nassau County border where it links up with an extended F train.
3. Extend the #7 northward under Long Island Sound into the Bronx connecting to #6 @ Pelham Bay Park, #5 @ Eastchester/Dyre Ave and #2 @ Wakefield.
4. Extend the 2nd Ave Subway southward so it ends at Whitehall St./South Ferry instead of Hanover Square connecting to the R/1 trains.
5. Extend the 2nd Ave Subway westward across 125th Street connecting it to 4/5/6, 2/3, A/B/C/D and 1 trains.
6. Extend the L train southwest so it connects with an extended 2/5 and/or B/Q at Kings Highway or Sheepshead Bay.
7. Extend the #3 eastward to connect with the A train or directly into JFK.
8. Extend the N/Q eastward to LaGuardia.
9. Extend the #1 train under the harbor to connect with the St. George depot on Staten Island (bye bye SI Ferry — a financial drain if there ever was one, especially since Mayor Guiliani decided to kiss ass with Staten Islanders in 1997 and make the ferry free and not collect any fares on the trains except in St. George).
Better yet, raise the sales tax by 1/4 of 1% and make all public transportation free — provided that 1/4 of 1% is guaranteed to go to public transportation and not frittered away by the city or state as they’ve done with something called the New York State Lottery. (Let’s not get started on the revenues lost when the city’s stock transfer tax was eliminated at the behest of those same Connecticut dwelling financial types.) It will save on boarding time and collections. All the station personnel can now become cleaners/eyes & ears so if they see something then can say something.