are pressing state senate majority leader Malcolm Smith (pictured) to do something to head off the oncoming MTA "doomsday" budget
. Smith and his allies are expected to unveil a plan today
with fare increases and payroll taxes -- both smaller than what the Ravitch Commission
proposed in December. Neither does it include, we are told, the bridge tolls
the committee suggested and the Democrats in the assembly favor. The plan is portrayed as a "stopgap," which is discouraging. Neither Governor Paterson nor the MTA
seems to be going for it, and a representative of the Straphangers Campaign says it "seems crazy to me."