Monday, August 27, 2007

MTA Proposed Fare Increase Fair to Roosevelt Island Tram Riders?

Expect in the next few days to see the news media discussing the MTA’s proposed 6.5% fare increase as the NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is expected to issue a report today blasting the MTA. According to report by NY1 “DiNapoli says the MTA should wait to see how much money it will get from the mayor's congestion pricing plan and Governor Eliot Spitzer's upcoming budget.”

The March 2004 inclusion of the Roosevelt Island Tram in the NYCTA Metrocard system was a great event in recent island transportation history and it certainly makes my life as a commuter bearable. But you wonder whether each time the fare increases whether the island is getting a fare / fair shake. I need to go back into past issues of the Main Street Wire to see if there were ever any stories about the fee sharing agreement that exists between the MTA and RIOC.

Do fare increases mean RIOC automatically gets more money for each turn of the tram turnstile? Certainly RIOC’s tram operating costs increase as time goes on but you wonder who wins and who loses on these increases. All I know is we’ll be paying more.

Update: 10:00am

According to the March 6, 2004 issue of the Main Street Wire it appears that the deal brokered by then Speaker Gifford Miller ensured that "RIOC [would] receive full income from every swipe" of the Metrocards at the Tram turmnstile. So my question is now will RIOC see the funds that woud come in from a fare increase as "general income" or do these funds have to be pegged for tram upkeep or improvements? At least it means the monies we pay come back to the island. But there are always questions.

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