The words "cold day in hell" come to mind, upon hearing that the MTA is asking for 50% more in revenue generated from state taxes. The MTA wants/needs the money to pay for its ambitious plans to improve and expand the current system, including building the Second Avenue Subway and creating East Side access for the LIRR to get to Grand Central. It seems unlikely that Governor Pataki will agree to the plan, since the last thing he wants to do is raise taxes (the MTA's plan asks for increases in real estate, business, and gas taxes). The MTA's need for mo' money brings into question whether their expansion policy should take a backseat to maintaining baseline transit service; MTA chairman Peter Kalikow says, "There is no question that expansion is the proper policy to pursue. But without the core program to shore up our existing infrastructure, the transit system will inevitably begin to deteriorate, and we will not let that happen."

If supporting the LIRR plan means the rest of our subways will be better, Gothamist has no choice but to say "Go LIRR!" But are there other solutions? Newsday has an editorial that recommends which projects should be prioritized. And in a story for the people, the Daily News reveals the former MTA board members get free lifetime Metrocards and EZ Passes. Of course, these board members don't get paid, and it might be argued that former bigwigs of other industries get freebies even after they leave, but that's not as interesting copy.