With the MTA's approval of service cuts for subway, bus, commuter railroad, and paratransit in order to make up for a $400+ million budget shortfull, everyone is angry. But who should be blamed?
Well, maybe everyone. City Room spoke to some people, including history professor and Regional Planning Association's director of public affairs, who included underfunding from the local, state and federal levels as a problem—there's also blame on transit union contracts and the MTA's inability to appear financially competent .
The Daily News notes how in the recent budget deal, Governor Paterson and the State Legislature decided to only fund $6 million to the MTA's student Metrocard program. According to the MTA, "Prior to 1994, New York City and New York State paid the entire cost of free or half-price student fares in New York City. A 1995 agreement split the cost equally ($45 million each at the time) between the City, State and MTA, but the MTA has paid an increasing amount over time and the State dramatically reduced its reimbursement this year to $6 million."
Streetsblog is rightly irritated by Keith Olbermann, who called MTA Chairman Jay Walder one of his "Worst Persons in the World" last night. Walder has only been chairman for a few months, and Streetsblog writes, "Since Olbermann singled out Jay Walder for a public flogging -- and not Sheldon Silver, Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada, Richard Brodsky, or any of the myriad electeds who have continually shortchanged transit for, yes, decades -- it's obvious that he buys into the fiction that every MTA crisis is of its own making."