The Mayor spoke out against the MTA's proposed fare hikes, saying the city didn't have any money. The Post reports he asked the MTA to "justify why it can't do more with less," emphasizing that "we just don't have the money to subsidize mass transit, and, of course, no straphanger - including me - wants to pay more." Now, Gothamist understands that the Mayor would be against the fare hike, he's up for re-election, he wants to make nice with constituents. But we wonder if the MTA wouldn't have already tried to see if they could make do with less. And then we realized, wait, we're talking about the MTA, a prickly, bureaucratic agency, so who knows, there could be a shallow puddle of some cash somewhere (though, given that a lot of subway watchdog groups aren't even faulting the MTA anymore, the MTA probably has gone down that road). Gothamist thinks the Mayor should appoint a task force - like a bailout team - to get to the bottom of the MTA's finances. And if there's already one, appoint another one.
An interesting idea from State Senator David Paterson is to get the federal government to send funds for the subway, given security concerns in a post-Madrid subway bombing world amid talk of over 160 token booths closing. The Daily News, whose pet cause has been the token booth closings (here's their list of proposed token booth closings - scroll down), points out that Governor Pataki isn't totally averse to public transportation measures: "He pressed a decade ago for $50,000 in taxpayer money to build a tunnel so golfers at the Mount Kisco Country Club could drive their carts from one stretch of the course to the other without having to cross a two-lane road."