Comptroller offers fare hike alternative

November 23, 2008 3:52:10 PM PST
New York City comptroller William Thompson on Sunday revealed a plan to avoid MTA fare hikes by generating huge revenue for the cash-strapped authority. Thompson's plan calls for a weight-based registration fee on private and commercial vehicles. The second part of his proposal calls for the reinstatement of the commuter tax.

He says the tax would add approximately $762 million in annual revenue.

According to Thompson's estimates, the weight-based fee and the commuter tax would generate more than $1.8 billion in annual transit funding.

"Instead of asking subway and bus riders who can least support it to dig deeper into emptier pockets for less service," Thompson said. "We need...ideas that will ensure that those who benefit from a healthy transit system pay their fair share."

Many New Yorkers were outraged last week when the MTA announced its drastic plans for substantial fare hikes and service cuts, all designed to close the gap on its more than $1 billion budget deficit.

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