Senator Zeldin Opposes MTA’s Nearly Double Digit Fare Increase For LIRR Riders
October 16, 2012
Calls on the MTA to Release Details of Revenue Projections for Fare and Toll Hikes
(Long Island, NY) State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) today voiced his opposition to the MTA’s proposed fare hikes for LIRR riders. Senator Zeldin also called on the MTA to publicly announce the amount of revenue expected to be generated through the plan.
“While proposing an average increase of 8.19% to 9.31% for LIRR riders, the MTA offers zero data of total projected revenue estimated to be brought in through the drastic fare and toll hikes throughout the MTA region,” said Senator Zeldin. “It’s ironic that the press release is posted under the ‘transparency’ feature to the MTA’s website, when the MTA fails to make any mention of the projected fiscal impact of these hikes on its budget.”
Senator Zeldin continued, “While the MTA states that ‘year over year controllable costs’ have been reduced by 0.3%, there is still much more work to be done. Some of the areas ripe for further efficiencies include further reducing overtime, decreasing the number of excessive salaries over $200,000, reforming work rules, selling additional real estate, reducing the excessive number of managers and supervisors, and so much more.”
“The days are over for $2 billion taxpayer funded bailouts with no questions asked,” Senator Zeldin concluded. “Meanwhile, we are also not going to play the victim against sustained threats of significant fare and toll hikes or dramatic reductions of service as the primary alternatives. The time has come for the MTA to do more to look within for cost savings and start running more like a competitive business, than a bloated government bureaucracy.”
In June of 2011, the State Senate passed Senator Zeldin’s legislation to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax (S.5596A). Senator Zeldin secured a broad coalition of support for his legislation, including the New York State School Boards Association, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, New York State Catholic Conference, Empire State Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Business Council of New York State, Inc., Conservative Party of New York State, Long Island Business News, New York Farm Bureau, GrowPAC, restructuring expert Harry Wilson, Long Island Cares, Inc., Long Island Business Council, Hauppauge Industrial Association, and several Chambers of Commerce.
Senator Zeldin’s efforts with his bi-partisan supported legislation ultimately led to a repeal in December 2011 for over 80 percent of those who previously paid the MTA Payroll Tax. Thousands of others received a reduction.