Dec 20, 2005

NYC Transit Strike: Maybe a good thing?

So I live in the outer boroughs of NYC (Queens) and today we have a major transit strike. The subway is a major and preferred way for most New Yorkers to travel--I take it every day. It is by far the safest way to get into Manhattan.

Now I'm lucky and have a non-MTA union express bus near my house that I took this morning. I was in the city at 8:00 leaving my house at 6:45 and waiting a half hour for the bus (bus #1 at 6:50 was too crowded). So overall my commute was fairly painless.

Cars need to have at least four people in them in order to come into the city. I think this is a good idea in general. I hope Mayor Bloomberg enforces this all the time. Traffic flowed pretty easily in the city this morning--especially with fewer buses clogging up the lanes.

I f I were the Mayor: "You want to bring your car into the city--OK fine--you need to bring 3 other people with you. Can't find three other people? Ok, fine--that'll be a $25 toll plus $10 to park."

Overall, not a terrible day.

I'm a big union supporter but I think these guys are nuts to ask for an 8% increase. They should take the 3%, 4%, 3.5% increase and keep the retirement plan that asks for 6% of the salaries to go into the plan but lets people retire at 55. Maybe they counter with 4% across the board?

1 comment:

J Philip said...

I see very little good that can come out of the work stoppage. They never went to arbitration or mediation, Toussaint is a former maintenance guy who is in clearly over his head, and neither the parent union nor the international union support the work stoppage. You've got thousands of elderly now in harm's way, such as my father in law, who has to brave the cold to get to Manhattan for dialysis somehow. And retirement at 55 is a dinasaur in my view. People routinely live 30 years beyond that, longer than the 25 years they may have put in with the MTA! At best local 100 is being a rogue local with this. BTW, the lynchpin of Toussaint's argument, that supposed surplus the MTA enjoys, is the result of federal subsidies. Without it they'd be billions in the red.

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