Tag Archives: budget plan

L train riders fed up with delays, look to Cuomo for help


| a.giudice@timesnewsweekly.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Service problems along one subway line serving Ridgewood has some riders asking, “What the L?”

In recent weeks, the L train has suffered from hour-long delays, overcrowded platforms and other service problems. Riders Alliance member Alexis Saba shared her experience with transit delays. “On [March 17], I waited forever on the L train before we actually left,” she said. “When we finally left, the train crawled to Bedford, and were told that a rail was out and that Bedford was the last stop—and I couldn’t physically get out of the Bedford station due to the crowds.”

The Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization of public transportation riders that pushes for better service and affordable rates, has invited disgruntled subway riders to visit its website and share their “subway horror stories.” As previously reported, the organization plans to present the horror stories to Governor Andrew Cuomo in hopes of enticing him and members of the state Legislature to fully fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) five-year capital plan.

Delays like this are nothing new for the MTA. According to the Riders Alliance, in February, the MTA NYC Transit and Bus Committee Meeting Report showed that subway delays had increased 45.6 percent from 2013 to 2014. With the most recent MTA rate hike, riders are now paying $2.75 for a single fare and $116.50 for a monthly Metrocard, and they are getting worse service, the Riders Alliance charged.

“What we’re hearing from riders is that they feel like we’re paying more and more for less and less,” Deputy Director for the Riders Alliance Nick Sifuentes said.

The MTA’s capital plan of $32 billion will build, repair, maintain and enhance current MTA infrastructure. But the plan faces a $15 billion shortfall, and if this gap is not filled, it will result in increased transit fares, further reductions in service and more repair issues in coming years, the Riders Alliance believes.

“I know the L train horror stories all too well,” state Senator Martin Malave Dilan said. “Frustrated riders write or call my office frequently, some send photos of overcrowded platforms with lines running up the stairs and riders dangerously close to spilling over onto the tracks.”

“The current budget proposal leaves the MTA unable to address these and many issues,” he added. “The MTA capital plan is $15 billion in the red. This year’s proposed $1.6 billion capital allocation will have little effect and the Senate majority’s proposal to reduce it only makes matters worse. It’s irresponsible to ignore these shortfalls. For the daily commuters on the L, it’s inconceivable.”

John Maier, co-chair of the Public Transportation Committee of Community Board 5, feels that “We are at a funding crisis.” With little funding from the government, all expenses have to be paid by the commuter. “Something needs to change,” he continued. “The system needs a lot of help.”

The city’s budget plan is due on April 1, so commuters, elected officials and the MTA must wait to see if any additional funding will be funnelled in to seal the $15 billion gap in the MTA’s budget plan.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Cloudy with periods of snow late. High near 25. Winds NNE at 15 to 25 mph. 3 to 5 inches of snow expected. Tuesday night: Cloudy with snow. Low 12. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 3 to 5 inches of snow expected.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Bingo at Rego Park Jewish Center 

Come to the Rego Park Jewish Center and play bingo every Tuesday afternoon in January and February. There will be cash prizes. Everyone 18 and over is welcome. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. The early bird game starts at 2 p.m. and regular games begin at 2:15 p.m. Admission is $4 and includes 12 games; additional charges for special games. The Rego Park Jewish Center is located at 97-30 Queens Boulevard, between 64th and 65th Road in Rego Park. For more information call 718-459-1000.

Father wanted in stabbing death of wife, two daughters arrested in Texas

A Jamaica man suspected in the brutal killing of his wife and two young daughters has been apprehended in Texas, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Winter Storm Warning in effect until Wednesday

The New York area is bracing for another round of snow on Tuesday, accompanied by bitter cold and strong winds. Read more: ABC New York

Cuomo plan would slash title fees by up to 60 percent

Sky-high closing costs for buying — or refinancing — a home in New York are about to be cut sharply under a plan Gov. Cuomo will unveil in his budget Tuesday, The Post has learned. Read more: New York Post

NYC mayor: Economic equality “can’t wait”

New York City’s new mayor marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by talking about economic equality. Read more: NBC New York

Crackdown on jaywalking after 3 traffic deaths at 96th and Broadway on UWS

The NYPD has mounted a major crackdown on jaywalking and motor vehicle violations at a dangerous intersection on the Upper West Side. Read more: CBS New York

 

 

Cuomo gets fiscal: Governor reveals budget plan


| smosco@queenscourier.com

GovBudgetSpeech

Looking to build on the momentum built over his first year in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 2012-13 Executive Budget and Reform Plan — a plan which looks to significantly cut the deficit without raising taxes.

“Because of the tough choices and the historic reforms we achieved last year, we are able to propose a pro-growth budget, tackle broad fiscal reform, drive accountability in our schools to put students first, and leverage tens of billions of dollars of new investment to create jobs without significant cost to the taxpayer,” he said after revealing his budget on Tuesday, January 17.

Cuomo’s $132.5 billion budget plan — which the Legislature will debate before an April 1 deadline — seeks to cut spending by $225 million while closing the $2 billion deficit. According to the governor, the proposal does so without the dramatic cuts enacted last year and with no new taxes.

 

 Highlights of the plan include:

•   Eliminating automatic spending inflators and implementing reforms throughout the budget to ensure that spending increases for service providers reflect performance and actual cost

•   Allocating $1.3 billion in state investment designed to spur a total of $25 billion from other sources to launch and accelerate major infrastructure projects and create thousands of jobs

•   Creating a plan for the state to take over 100 percent of the costs of Medicaid growth that will be phased in over three years, saving local governments $1.2 billion over the next five years

•   Creating a pension reform plan that will save state taxpayers and local governments outside the city $83 billion, and will save $30 billion over the next 30 years

•   Increasing school aid by $805 million, including $250 million linked to improved academic performance and management efficiency, and implementation of an enhanced teacher evaluation process.

 

Besides increasing school aid, the governor also pushed for reform of the teacher evaluation system. Under the governor’s plan, the State Education Department and school employee unions will have 30 days to agree on a new effective teacher evaluation system or the governor will propose his own in the 30 day budget amendments. Schools will be given one year to implement the system or risk forfeiting an increase in education aid in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school budgets.

Elected officials from around the borough didn’t waste any time commenting on Cuomo’s proposal. City Comptroller John Liu said that the plan reflects the tough economic times in the city.

“While we still need to review the details of the governor’s proposal to offer new hires the option of receiving a defined contribution, or 401k-type, retirement plan, research has shown that the defined benefit plans actually save government employers money,” he said, referring to the governor’s pension reform plan.