Right now Metro Cards, which allow New Yorkers to travel around the whole public transport system, are about to go up and New Yorkers are definitely not happy. But with an operating deficit as big as the whole budget for most small countries, the MTA doesn’t have much choice.
New York’s subway, the most ridden and the most beloved part of NYC’s transport system, is part of the New York family. No one can really go anywhere without it, everyone grew up with it and like all family members it has its peculiarities. It’s part nurturing, part off the wall, part taken for granted and consistently critized the minute anything goes wrong. It is as much the beating heart of New York City as Central Park, it’s just underground for most of the way.
It constantly totters on the brink of breakdown and when Hurricane Sandy hit the poor thing got partially drowned. And it’s been recovering ever since. Right now the biggest problem apart from upkeep is its inability to cope with the number of travellers at peak times. Something creative is going to have to be done because there is no indication at all that the flood of NYC immigrants and tourists will be letting up anytime soon. Everyone would complain if it did.
And while the subway is the most well known part of and the biggest chunk of the MTA’s responsibilities, many may not realise it is responsible for the whole transport system of New York State and even parts of Conneticut. It looks after everything from upkeep of tracks and roads, maintenance of rolling stock and buses to the aesthetics of subway stations and the selections of musicians to play at subway stations, see the video for a delightful view of how that happens.
So 2 days after spring arrives a single trip anywhere on the sytem goes up from $2.50 to $2.75, monthly cards go up from $112 to $116.50 and weekly cards up a dollar to $31. But the sad truth is fares and other income only cover 50% of the running costs of the transport system. So make your wishes known to your community reps and your state reps. Remind them that you love this system, need it and value and they had better keep on board with the grants big enough to keep it going in good order. NYC and the subway, essential to each other.