It feels like 2005 again! TWU President Roger Toussaint and Straphangers Campaign attorney Gene Russianoff want the MTA to delay its vote on the West Side rail yards. The vote, scheduled for Wednesday, would consider the city's $500 million bid for the area Mayor Bloomberg hopes to turn into Hudson Yards. After the Jets stadium debacle last year, the rail yards were appraised at $923 million, which is why Toussaint and Russianoff are asking that the MTA hold out for a whole lot more, as the money could fund equipment and other expenses. And wanting more money for valuable land makes sense, which is probably why the MTA will accept the $500 million offer, as it seems to operate in bizarro world.
And the MTA is trying to encourage advertisers to buy ad space on the back of Metrocards. This is another area where the MTA needs to be more savvy. Sure, it's nice that the MTA can put its own messages on the back of Metrocards or in subway cars, but the fact that we see so many of their ads means the MTA isn't making money on that space. And that money could go to things like maybe offsetting fare increases one year.