Apparently, the key to getting more money from the NY state is to threaten that mass transit will have to be dramatically decreased. And you know what, that kind of threat works for Gothamist. When MTA Executive Director Katherine Lapp went to Albany to beg for some money, she said, "We will have to make very difficult decisions that may affect service levels throughout the city." Translation: Give our agency, in spite of cooked books earlier, or else the Straphangers will have even more to complain about! MTA ridership has jumped 40% since 1996, but state subsidies haven't kept up, leaving the MTA thinking that its $688 million deficit in 2005 will double to $1.4 billion by 2007. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester backed up the MTA's request for more money, saying, "Fare increases are going to come at the speed of a train unless the governor's policies that led to the borrowing are reversed." Oh, Assemblyman Brodsky. We thank you for your help, but your hyperbole is not helping. Just say, "Imagine all the crazed New Yorkers if there's another fare hike."