Posted December 8, 2007 in News • Tags:

Listen to this praise for New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer:

Spitzer called on the MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] to throw away a proposal that would have raised the price of those individual rides [from $2] to $2.25, and the MTA went along with him. It sounds like a small thing and is the opposite of that. It is a big thing Spitzer did, a big story of the city. This was the governor of the state acting like a true advocate for the city that grew him and grew his ambitions.

This flapdoodle goes on for about a dozen more paragraphs in the same vein. The problem? Almost nobody pays $2 to ride the subway or bus in New York City.

The MTA itself has stated on many occasions that something like 90% of all riders pay a discounted rate; the average fare is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.70. This is because anyone who puts at least ten dollars on a MetroCard gets a 20% discount. Also there is the popular monthly pass, good for unlimited rides at $76. The MTA has also stated that discount fares will go up regardless of whether the base fare of $2 is increased. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to whether the MTA will increase the price of a monthly pass more, now that the base fare stays $2? (Hint: they’ve already threatened it.)

In other words, the fight over a $2 fare (a fare paid only by tourists and by residents who occasionally get out of their cars, not by the “little people”) has been a completely meaningless waste of time. Nothing to see here, please move on.

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