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Back again - NYCT Service Cuts
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Back again - NYCT Service Cuts Reply with quote

New York Times - M.T.A. Moves to Slash Pay and Service

By Sewell Chan - The New York Times - December 11, 2009

The 6,000 nonunion employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would have their salaries cut by 10 percent and subway, bus and commuter rail service would be sharply reduced under a plan to plug a new shortfall of about $340 million in the agency’s budget, according to an official familiar with the plan.

Many of the cuts in the plan — which is being recommended by the authority’s chairman, whose salary would also be reduced — were approved a year ago and then rescinded in the spring after the Legislature passed a limited rescue package. Bus service in New York City would be particularly hard hit; two minor subway lines, the W and Z, would be eliminated; and waiting times for riders, particularly during off-peak hours, would grow.

The chairman, Jay H. Walder, who took office in October and is paid $350,000 a year, plans to present the package on Monday to the Finance Committee of the authority’s board. The full board is to take up the plan, part of the authority’s 2010 budget, on Wednesday. The Daily News reported some of the planned service cuts on Friday.

The official who disclosed the planned pay cuts spoke on the condition of anonymity because the authority’s staff had not been authorized to discuss them.

The official said that Mr. Walder planned to use the threat of the pay cuts to motivate the leaders of the authority’s component agencies — including New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad — to come up with alternative administrative savings.

Both the service and the pay cuts, which could last indefinitely, would take effect on April 1. The pay cuts, which would save $62 million a year, would probably be carried out through furloughs or through a paycheck lag, in which the authority would delay, for months or even years, paying workers part of their salaries.

The authority’s financial picture has darkened considerably since its preliminary 2010 budget was unveiled in July.

First, Gov. David A. Paterson, who has warned that the state is running out of cash, ordered a $143 million reduction in state financing for the authority.

Then, on Monday, the authority announced that revenue from a payroll tax for transit that the Legislature approved in May was running $200 million less than had been expected, a setback that the authority’s chief financial officer, Gary J. Dellaverson, called “a shocking development.”

While the pay cuts would represent a measure of shared sacrifice by Mr. Walder and other transit executives, riders are likely to bear the brunt of the pain if no additional revenue surfaces by the spring.

The budget proposal that Mr. Walder plans to present on Monday includes service reductions nearly identical to those approved last December and rescinded in May.

In addition to the elimination of the W and Z lines, which supplement the N and J lines, respectively, the reductions would have included a shortening of the G and M lines, and a cut in the frequency of train service during the middle of the day and on weekends, evenings and late nights.

Under the plan approved last year, the number of station booths and agents would also have been slashed. And 56 bus routes would have lost service altogether on weekdays or weekends, with other types of service reductions on an additional 29 lines.

The proposed service cuts are likely to generate an outcry among riders, as they did a year ago. And the state government is unlikely to provide relief.

Mr. Walder has so far ruled out a fare and toll increase in 2010, and the official who discussed his plans said the chairman had no intention of revisiting that decision. However, the authority’s latest 2010 budget plan, released on Nov. 18, calls for 7.5 percent increases in fare and toll revenue in 2011 and 2013.

In general, the users of the authority’s transportation network bear a greater burden for supporting the system than do commuters in other regions.

Even with the payroll tax adopted by the Legislature in the spring — in response to recommendations by a commission led by Richard Ravitch, now the lieutenant governor — dedicated taxes and subsidies were projected as of November to generate only $5.3 billion for the authority in 2010, compared with $6.4 billion from fares, tolls and other operating revenue.
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Report here - New York City Transit/Staten Island Railway - November Financial Plan 2009-2012 - Additional Actions for Budget Balance
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timecruncher



Age: 71
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda makes our measly $2 million (or $5 million, depends who you talk to) shortfall seem insignificant.

It isn't, of course. This is happening all over the country. Transit agencies are already spending every penny that is planned for, whether it has actually been collected or not.

Seems unwise, but then, the current generation of transit management are so out of touch with the reality of prudent operation and fiscal responsibility. Well, that and our unions don't understand the concept either.

But ya know, if I made $350k a year, I could afford to take a 10% pay cut. Oh hell, I'd even take a $15% pay cut at that level. I'd have to live in Brooklyn instead of some plush Central Park East condo...

timecruncher


Last edited by timecruncher on Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep! Yep! I've seen this coming for ages...

Wonder why I foster and promote the cranky and iconoclastic view: Do it all out of the fare boxes, or don't do it at all!

...................Vern.................
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Hart Bus



Age: 72
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is after they got the state legislature to enact a payroll tax on employers on the wages paid their staff and on the profits of the self-employed.

They now claim that collections will come up $143 million dollars short of projections. When this was worked on by the legislature in Jan & Feb '09 the economy was in the dumper. What were they smoking to think that ecomony would recover or were they afraid that they could get the bill passed that contained a higher tax rate ?????
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timecruncher



Age: 71
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The voters approved a .2% payroll and business profits tax in Jefferson County (greater Louisville) back in 1974 after public takeover. It isn't much, but it would be sufficient to operate the fixed-route service if we hadn't been saddled with the cost of providing paratransit service throughout our service area as well.

As I've said before, nobody but a real scrooge would argue that the ADA is not needed, but it needs to be funded separate from fixed-route services in order to be self-sustaining.

Hauler, transit in any form cannot be self-supporting from the farebox. It just can't be done. Sorry, but even in places where privitization has flourished (Europe and the U.K., primarily), the cost of running the service exceeds what is collected in fares, and that is in countries where fuel costs are four times what it is here, fares are much higher and wages are lower.

The service is needed, but it need not be a rolling welfare operation, which is how it is treated in the U.S.

timecruncher
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher wrote:
...The service is needed, but it need not be a rolling welfare operation, which is how it is treated in the U.S....


timecruncher -

Precisely! It has evolved into a rather bizarre, jack of all trades critter, serving too many agendas...

Independent operation? Get into specific route by route analysis and performance. (Despite all the blather of "transparent" governance,
one can get into Fort Knox easier and quicker than digging out this data from public info websites.)

Anyway, the long time, "always make net money" NCL routes continue to exhibit the same robust behavior. I will urge that all the private
carriers needed was protection from effects of inflation on its equipment (assets) ledgers. Equipment could have been purchased by the
public entities where needed. In turn, leased to private operators. In effect, a GE Leasing of last resort? The equipment could be leased
at very nominal amounts, dependent on the degree to which the public agency wished to support...

.....................Vern................
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timecruncher



Age: 71
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt about it, the cost of capital acquisition (buses and railcars of all kinds), depreciation of facilities and the costs associated with risk management are a big part of this picture.

Truthfully, I feel that fares have been kept artificially low in this country as well. Most of Canada, Europe and the UK have fares of well over $2.75 or the equivalent in U.S. dollars. Reduced fares for students, seniors and the disabled are paid separate from operational subsidies where they exist.

I like the way you're thinking on this. Might be interesting to try, but no doubt about it, transit unions would call in all of their buddies in Congress to keep anything like that from happening!

At any rate, the route map of most systems would certainly look a lot different were the lines operated on a semi-profitability model!

timecruncher
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher wrote:
...Might be interesting to try, but no doubt about it, transit unions would call in all of their buddies in Congress to keep anything like that from happening!...


timecruncher -

Surprise, Surprise! "Unintended consequences"? By now, the impacted subject unions have long bargained with "deep pockets" employers.
Hardly the same as old time, hard line, cranky private employers, driven by "what the market can bear" realities...

My "Theory Of Inflation" gets a bit convoluted, but merely relies upon brilliant work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming for the cargo motor carrier
industry. I may have explained it somewhere here, earlier. For most, it is a real yawner, and as exciting as a required class in accounting or
economics! <G>

.......................Vern....................
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JA




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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jay Walder is underpaid by a factor of at least 10. Name one person in the private sector that manages a $11.5B budget for $350K plus a housing allowance. You won't find any.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JA wrote:
Jay Walder is underpaid by a factor of at least 10. Name one person in the private sector that manages a $11.5B budget for $350K plus a housing allowance. You won't find any.

JA -

This reader is not clear of all the other unchecked baggage accompanying this statement of fact...

Indeed, does this make a case for a seasoned, private sector top manager? Someone in the same mold as, say, Al Perlman (NYCRR),
D W Brosnan (SOUTHERN), or Donald Russell (ESPEE), or like personalities? I doubt if any of the named three became truly wealthy
from their own transport management careers...

...................Vern..................
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scatman



Age: 50
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: service cuts Reply with quote

we dont need service cuts but a better allocation of the services out there - i have been saying this all along - routes all over the service area need to be combined/compressed/ and streamlined to conserve resources and then reallocate these resources to where they are needed more. I can save the agency millions by streamlining routes now that all lines are under the same management control.

for example -- heres something i witnessed just last week --
last wednesday was a rather warm evening for this time of the year so i decided to walk around manhattan -that was 12/9 - as i was walking east on 17 st approaching 6 av, i witnessed a cps/59 st bound quill rts on m6 go by and noticed only a small handful of ppl - maybe 4 or 5 - the time was about 9pm. as i started to walk south on 6av, i witnessed an amsterdam orion 7 departing the first stop on the m7 at 6av/15 st - he had only 1 person on board and was now tagging along behind the m6 no more than a minute behind. after the m7 had passed and i continued to walk south approaching the newly renovated mcdonalds between 14 and 15 st, i saw another sitting at the light at 14st - this time a manhattanville new orion hybrid - 3839 i believe was the number, on the m5 -- i waited for him to pass - he had no one and was tagging along only slightly behind the m6 and m7. after using the restroom in mcdonalds, i continued my walk south on 6 av, and as i was around 9th street, now no more than 5 or 6 minutes later, here comes another quill rts on the m6 - this one had a slightly larger load - maybe 10 or 12 on board. i then continued my walk and as i reached waverly place, here comes 9277, a manhattanville rts on the m5 - he had only 1 on board. so- here in a matter of ten or twelve minutes tops, we have had 5 buses operating on top of eachother for maybe 1 full load of people combined by the time they all reach 59 st. - they only had a combined half of a load of maybe 25 when they passed around 14st. THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF MTA WASTE - why do we have 5 buses on top of eachother on 6av at 9oclock at nite when most people use the bdfv lines. i personally have ridden all the way from south ferry to 59st on the m6 and was the only one the whole way other than the operater a few times. one bus every 10 minutes on 6 av at that time would be sufficient - maybe even every 15 or 20 minutes would be sufficient - these three lines can be streamlined into 1 and the resources that are saved can be place somewhere where there is not even 1 bus at nine oclock at nite not where there r 5.
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scatman



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: service cuts Reply with quote

under my ideas -- the m6 is eliminated entirely - the m7 is extended to south ferry full time (the m1 also) and the M5 and M7 buses will be merged into a combined timetable and will operate along 6av at alternating intervals - short trips on the M7 not serving south ferry will turn at houston with the m5 and not that stupid nowhere stop at 6av/15st. limited stop service will be provided on one route or the other based on ridership demand. the line will run to and from south ferry at hourly intervals 24hrs/day - the M6 currently does not run to south ferry all nite. other corridors like the m1,2,3,4 on madison will be combined also. the queens and nassau li bus lines that overlap will be streamlined into combined timetables also - the libus lines will operate locally within queens and buses will depart jamaica and flushing at even time intervals - lines will be split between queens and nassau garages
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JA




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HwyHaulier wrote:

JA -

This reader is not clear of all the other unchecked baggage accompanying this statement of fact...

Indeed, does this make a case for a seasoned, private sector top manager? Someone in the same mold as, say, Al Perlman (NYCRR),
D W Brosnan (SOUTHERN), or Donald Russell (ESPEE), or like personalities? I doubt if any of the named three became truly wealthy
from their own transport management careers...

...................Vern..................


The MTA has too many bodies and not enough management. It seems that management headcount has been touted as an increase in supervision as opposed to an increase in the competence of those supervisors. So, people accuse the MTA of having too much management when the issue is their effectiveness. Higher compensation of better management leads to better management. The system is not aggressively managed except when threatened with funding reductions.

A hybrid transport network with subsidized and unsubsidized carriers are the only way we can afford broad coverage. Those that advocate for a fully public network can never ever find the resources to fund everything.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JA -

Thanks for the apt and succinct observations. A military metaphor along lines of: The General is only as good as his troops!
The entire organization of such size, it is hardly given to easy answers...

................Vern.................
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