Albany Approves MTA Bill; Governor's Signature Expected; Fare to $2.25

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The state senate has cleared the MTA budget plan, and Governor Paterson says he will quickly sign it. The bill is lengthy, and full of legislative nuggets that will take time for the rest of us to parse. We do notice that it says the 50-cent taxi surcharge "must" be passed on to the rider -- the cab owner "must pass along the economic incidence of the tax to the passenger by adjusting the fare for the ride, and the passing along of such economic incidence may not be construed by any court or legislative body as imposing the tax on the person that pays the fare for the ride." Huh?

The New York Times says "the plan would appear to raise significantly less money this year than in some earlier projections," but Albany says not to worry, it will all work out. The Times also questions a perceived shortfall in capital investment, but straphangers will probably be less interested in the condition of the trains than in the promise that fares will rise to $2.25, not $2.50 or even $3.00 as previously threatened. The previously mentioned payroll tax, car registration surcharge, and car rental tax are in there, and these are expected to get us only to 2011, when we will have to go through this all over again. Photo (cc) Runs With Scissors.

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