Schumer’s no dummy
When Sen. Charles Schumer stopped by the New Rochelle train station to spread good news for commuters today, I couldn’t resist asking him about the issue that’s weighing heaviest on the minds of rail and bus passengers:
What about those rescue measures that are supposed to help stave off whopping fare increases of 25 percent or more — increases that would be paid by Metro-North Railroad commuters who use that New Rochelle station, as well as all others? (A monthy pass from New Rochelle to Manhattan would cost $216, up $47 from the current price of $169.)
You know the measures I’m talking about, those Ravitch Commission suggestions to enact a payroll tax of 33 cents for $100 of payroll to be paid for all employers in the 12-county MTA region (which includes the Lower Hudson Valley) and tolls on four East River and Harlem River crossings. Not to mention the provision that the MTA could raise fares every two years to match the rate of inflation without holding additional hearings.
So. I asked Schumer if he had any opinion on those proposed measures, which have been causing a bit of controversy, and his answer was a flat no.
“I’ll leave that to the state and local (governments),” he said.
He was there, by the way, to talk about the increase in the commuter tax benefit now available. (For more on that, take a look at the previous entry on this blog.)