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Ravitch Report + Fares + Tolls + MTA = Headache

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Here are several words and phrases that are guaranteed to make everyone want to hurl through 2009: MTA deficit, Ravitch Report, bus and subway fare hikes, toll increases, tolls on East River Bridges, Metropolitan Transit Authority and New york City Transit. Unless one slept through yesterday, one is aware that the Ravitch Report came out with proposals to deal with the MTA's $1.2 billion deficit and that there is something in to piss off just about everyone. (Sound a little like congestion pricing?) The Times takes the lead by noting "charging tolls on East River and Harlem River bridges — met with sharp opposition from elected officials across the city." And, that's just one of the barrels of toxic waste that needs to disposed. There does seem to be (today) more support for a small commuter tax instead. The plan is supposed to help moderate a 23 percent increase in fares and tolls and deep cuts in subway, bus and commuter rail service next year. Fares and tolls would only go up 8 percent. The MTA would pass its doomsday budget this month and, then, Albany would work on the Ravitch recommendations next year. Hey, it's still 2008 and there's already a bloodbath in 2009 as a comming attraction.
· Mixed Reviews on Transit Plan [NYT]
· Panel unveils MTA bailout plan [NYDN]
· Caught in a 3-Way $queeze [NYP]