MTA announces more cuts; fare hike next?

May 7, 2010 3:28:23 PM PDT
This latest round of belt-tightening will mean shorter trains at the Long Island Railroad.

Some will be cut from 12 cars down to 10.

"I think it's totally disastrous. I think it's a mistake. I think they should be increasing the number of cars not decreasing," commuter Al Cornachio said.

Over at Metro North, the cuts mean more windows shut down and fewer customer assistants at Grand Central Terminal.

"I think all this cutting, cutting, cutting is not a good. It's just not a good idea," commuter Patricia Sealy said

The subways will get hit as well:

  • A reduction in the amount of scratchiti clean-up on train windows
  • Fewer janitors picking up trash
  • A cut in the number of announcements

    Additionally, the MTA is laying off station agents in both the subways and on the LIRR. These agents help riders with fares and information and are acknowledged to be a stations' eyes and ears, the folks who can "See something, Say something."

    MTA officials called the latest budget move bad, but not horrible.

    "I think the reality of our situation is that you have to look at everything in the budget and say what is just nice to have and what is a must have," Jeremy Soffin of MTA said

    Some commuters even agreed with the MTA, calling the cuts "reasonable."

    "It's New York City and there are a lot of cuts that need to be taken to keep everything moving and it's something people will just have to adjust to," Fred Lott, a Metro North commuter, said.

    Despite everything, the budget is still not balanced so expect either more slicing or a bigger-than-planned fare hike.

    "They just keep raising the fare, it keeps going up and it just doesn't stop. The MTA needs to find a medium ground and stop this," rider Kevin Wickers said.