Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Free subway service studied

New York City NY - A New York Post story tells of a study being done by a transit advocacy group that is urging that the subway service in the Big Apple be free.

The 4 month study, being done by the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, is being funded by a $100,000 grant from environmentalist Theodore Kheel.

Citing that other cities, such as Portland and Seattle, offer free transit service in their downtown cores, the group seems oblivious to the fact that the transit systems in those cities are extremely small compared to the behemoth known as the MTA.

The plan appears to center around paying for the free service through congestion pricing of travel by car in New York City.

This plan is fraught with problems. Primary of which is that they are depending on the very mode of transportation they want to eliminate to pay for the free subway service. What they should call the congestion tax is a "sin tax" because that is exactly what it is. Just like with other sin taxes that are used to fund programs, it won't bring in anywhere close to the money that the advocates say it will.

The days of free transit service in the downtown core is rapidly coming to an end as well. With the cost of providing transit service going through the roof, many systems are making contingency plans to scrap the free downtown core service with my home town being one of those operations.

Ultimately what will happen if NYC adopts this free subway plan is this. The MTA will be bankrupt within a year. Taxes on all residents will be raised to pay for it and the bus service that many do depend on will suffer through massive fare hikes and service cuts.

This is just another plan by radical environmentalists to further destroy public transit which is disguised as a plan to save it. I am actually surprised that the source of the funding for the study was identified as an environmentalist. Usually the media buries that fact when reporting on environmentalist plans to "improve" public transit.

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