Toll hikes pass

August 19, 2011 1:22:09 PM PDT
That sigh of relief you hear is the MTA, the much-despised and over-budget New York transportation agency that is more than a little happy the public's spotlight of anger is suddenly off them and now shining brightly on the much-despised and over-budget Port Authority.

A long sentence to be sure.

But a short sentiment.

Taxpayers and commuters are up-to-here with having fares and tolls hiked faster than the cost of living.

That is the simple part of one side of a complicated equation.

Here's the other: The infrastructure of our area is outdated and desperately in need of repairs. And we fool ourselves thinking that they can just keep on working.

The solution, par usual, is what evades us as a society. Should those who use the roads and bridges and tunnels and subways and (fill in the blank) pay for the upgrades and repairs? Or should it be a shared experience? (Taxi riders are, after all, paying a chunk of cash for the MTA's fiscal fiascos.)

This bigger question is the most important, and the one no one wants to touch. Alas.

So everyone focuses on the second-tier issues: Is the Port Authority's new fare and toll hikes a tax increase or a user fee? Is this management by the Port Authority? Why not just tax the rich?


I moved here in 1992, and when, in the next few years, New York City generated a surplus in its budget, I was dumbfounded that it wasn't immediately put into fixing the aging infrastructure.

We don't handle our family budgets this way; if we suddenly have extra money, families usually rue the day if they use the money for a over-fast vacation than, say, fixing the broken washing machine or replacing the rotting pipes. The piper, and the rotting pipes will eventually be paid. In one form or another.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll have reaction to the Port Authority fare and toll hikes, tonight at 11.

We're also following two crime stories that go above and beyond the pale. The first is the arrest of the husband in that family shooting in Boonton, New Jersey that killed a young mother. The husband, now charged with conspiring to kill his wife; he was wounded in the shooting, but cops say that was just for show. They say his girlfriend was the shooter in a crime that was witnessed by the couple's 3-year-old son.

The second crime is the rape of a woman in the Inwood section of Manhattan, and the suspect under arrest is a NYPD officer.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Amy Freeze (in for Lee Goldberg) with her weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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