Mayor Bloomberg is calling for the MTA to eliminate the fare of the most frequently used—and very slow—crosstown bus lines such as the M50 and M14. Perhaps sensing that the campaign season was beginning to get bogged down in talk of neverending term limits and a recent poll that showed challenger Bill Thompson closing the gap among voters, the Bloomberg campaign came out today with a 33-point proposal to reshape the transit system throughout the five boroughs. After largely letting the MTA stew in its own juices throughout the budget crisis, Bloomberg is reminding New Yorkers that he is still the mayor who not that long ago attempted to make congestion pricing his legacy.

Bloomberg's "Moving NYC" campaign plan (see the full proposal on his campaign website) points out that since many of the crosstown lines are used in large part by subway riders taking advantage of the free transfer, the cost of letting riders walk on to the heavily-trafficked bus routes would not be too taxing. The plan states, “Any loss in revenue will likely be offset by the gain in travel times, which may reduce operating costs by allowing the authority to run fewer buses." Not specifically mentioned was how pleasant it would be to not have commuters trying out five empty Metrocards only to have the driver give up and allow the person on anyway.

Some of the other more eye-catching election year initiatives included in the plan are:

  • Extending the V line from the Lower East Side into Brooklyn
  • Express F line service
  • "Countdown Clocks" on train platforms being spread beyond the L line and throughout the ststem
  • Reopening LIRR stations in several Queens neighborhoods
  • Expanding the bus rapid transit experiment that was tested out on the Bx12 across Fordham Road in The Bronx
  • An HOV lane on the westbound Gowanus Expressway
  • A "robust, high frequency inter-boro ferry service"
  • Expanding the CityTicket program to all LIRR and Metro North stations at all times so Bronx and Queens riders pay reduced fares

On that last point, Bill Thompson was quick to offer a reminder of how much MTA fares have gone up under the mayor. He also mentioned that he has been calling for a CityTicket expansion sounds like something they've heard before. A Thompson spokeswoman said, "This plan is full of empty promises and stolen ideas such as CityTicket which was proposed by Bill Thompson in 2006 and 2009."