2005_03_mtalogo.jpgGothamist usually loves the MTA. We love riding the subway because it's still the fastest and most cost-efficient way to get places - plus it's an experience. And we love taking the bus when we have the time, because we get to experience NYC almost like a tourist does in a tour bus. But it's when we hear about things like the MTA spending over $800,000 to find savings and then we go crazy. More power to Booz Allen Hamilton for being able to charge the MTA that much money (clearly the suckers born every minute now work at the MTA) but we totally agree with the Straphangers' Gene Russianoff, in comments to the NY Times, on this one:

"Most people scratch their heads and wonder why the M.T.A. isn't more efficient. It looks like an awful lot of money to evaluate administrative savings. But the M.T.A. is an $8 billion agency, and there are undoubtedly savings to be found. I think there are a lot of people who would offer them free suggestions."

Sure, sure, the MTA probably needs the words of a name brand consulting firm to make their cockamamie ideas float, but we'd also like the MTA to find problems like gaping holes in the subway stations, as they did last night in Brooklyn. If the MTA management didn't seem so assy about everything, people wouldn't be this annoyed. New Yorkers live for phrases like "4/5/6 service is out" and "A and C trains will be out for 3-5 years" and "MTA is spending over $800K to save" that just aggravate and don't totally compute.

And an addition to sales tax to help fund the MTA? (NY's sales tax was supposed to go down from 8.625% to 8.250%, but the commuter tax would make it 8.375%.) Grr, Gothamist acknowledges the desperate need to fund the MTA, but aren't there any more solutions? The Mayor supports the Albany-backed plan, Pataki thinks there could have been other ideas, and the Democratic mayoral candidates are gleefully seizing on the issue, saying it's bad mojo. Man, we really hate Albany.