Today’s news:

Options exist to pay for transit

Last month, Keep NYC Free testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and declared, “No need exists to raise any fare on our buses and subways.” The resources exist to hold the line on the fare at current levels and ensure that the MTA maintains and improves existing service levels.

Rather than the incomplete scheme offered in December by the Ravitch Commission, the Keep NYC Free coalition offers a preferable approach. The “incomplete” grade rests for proposing a toll tax on currently free East River and Harlem River bridges and on the failure to get City Hall and Albany to make up shortchanges in support for transit.

Let’s seize the opportunity to recognize that investment in transit represents economic development that serves our nation, state and city — especially in this fiscal climate. Our coalition alternative plan finds the resources that empower the city and state to step and make up for their skimping on supporting transit.

Why not earmark a 4−cent state gasoline levy ($255 million), vehicle registration fee ($250 million), fines for illegal parking ($75 million), parking meter rates ($50 million) and realistic city fees for using street space by construction contractors and utilities ($500 million)?

Readers can help make a difference by supporting alternative resources, including many advanced by our coalition, and rejecting the imposition of any toll tax.

Visit www.keepnycfree.com to view our plan and other information. Our coalition welcomes an opportunity to discuss our concerns and recommendations with residents and community groups. Together, we can save the fare; devise stable funding for transit operations; obtain our fair share of transit from City Hall, Albany and Washington; and legislate steady revenues to maintain, improve and expand the transit system.

Corey Bearak

Glen Oaks

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