Sunday, August 14, 2011

MTA: Do they really worth the price tag?

Leakage At Fulton Street Subway Stop from Gothamist

Hello everybody and welcome back to a late edition of Victor's Space. If you are reading for the first time and like what you read, just enter your e mail address on the box on top of my picture and you will be able to receive this blog every time I publish. During the whole year of the existence of this blog I do my best to stay away from anything negative, but when negativity hit you close, you don't have other choice.
Last Week I was into a lot of activities and didn't have a time to think on what to write for you. On Wednesday I was running away from the rain, it caught me and the group I was with outside. We sheltered at the Winter Garden in Battery park city a beautiful place. If I knew what was ahead, I should have stayed outside in the rain. As we got a break, we ran to MTA Fulton Street (1,2,3,4,5, A,C, J,Z) station trying to catch a train home and trying to stay away from the rain. As I made my way down to the A,C platform a companion and me get greeted by two green vested MTA worker flagging us to the center of the platform. I hated the fact I didn't have my camera with me and the batteries of my phone were dead as well. What I saw is the same thing the people from Gothamist blog saw and what you would see if you please click "play".... Did you see it? we didn't have umbrella, we were not expecting any rain on Wednesday Aug 10th. But apparently MTA wasn't expecting rain at all.
That station is near future WTC 1 (liberty tower) and future WTC 4, 911 memorial park. Boasts high end shops like Century 21, also a concert hall in the shape of Winter Garden, the terminal for the ferry to liberty island. You can see, is a highly turistic area and is a can't miss stop for many tourists, very likely the first stop. Yet Is this the face MTA make the city of New York greet tourists and Newyorkers?
When I go to interviews for any job, I'm looking to meet someone very important, a business trip. I always have a nice suit and a nice tie on, well groomed. The purpose is to make a nice first impression. However MTA is not interested in that. I would tell you what's going on here and then I would tell you my plan of action if I was MTA president. While the average minimum wage for the city of NY is 7.15, that wage is unacceptable, you could possibly get 10 and hour in most jobs. HOWEVER the minimum wage at MTA is 18 dollars an hour in some cases just to sweep the station and keep buses clean (never succeed at that) some workers end up as high as 23 an hour that's triple the minimum wage of the city. In the past 9 years the MTA have introduced us to a bunch of cool gadgets MTA introduced R142 in early 2000's for the #2, 4 and 5 line, R142A for the 4 and 6, R143 for the L line. Later on we get R160 for the L, M, N, Q, W(defunct line) R, J, E and F these trains help you not to get lost because they provided clear recorded messages as well as display you the message including what stop you are at and what's next stop. That's pretty cool stuff isn't it?
A count down clock in the Bronx displays the arrival of the next 2 #6 train

 Traveling the subway two years ago I got surprised that the L line was telling the riders when the next train was arriving. It was shocking to me. Then this got extended to the 2 and 3, then the 4 thru 6. Pretty nice gadgets right?
These gadgets doesn't make any sense if you are afraid the train station some of them 100 years old or more would give up on top of your head. I know you was "wow cool" reading the paragraph above. I believe you forgot the video you just saw. You know what? take another look and come back to THIS paragraph (capitalized was to mark you where you stopped reading to see the video again) see it doesn't make sense. Is like I get on a nice suit, nice tie, groom well but guess what! the hiring manager is wrong I'm not qualified for the job of doctor and I don't even speak English to start with. MTA is planning to increase the fare once again. This is what I heard at that station I said "I can't believe I'm paying for this crappy service" someone else yelled "I can't believe they are planning to increase the fare for this" "this station is a piece of ..." I want to tell you why they need extra money. Here are some bullet points for you.

  • While the boss (average New Yorker) get paid a minimum 7.15-10.00 per hour to start a new job. MTA employees start at 18 per hour.
  • MTA offer ridiculous benefits including excessive paid days off and get this, they would pay days even months off if an MTA employee get spat on. While in the street that would spark a fight, in the MTA would spark a bunch of calls for vacations. They get "traumatized" and have to be taken off service while they get paid ridiculous money.
  • MTA hires an auditor for over a million dollars to overview their health care plan and eventually cut service to many relatives of employees
  • MTA focus work on the second avenue line which would aleviate the congestion at Lexington avenue but nearly abandon the rest of the system. Disagree? go check the video again
Let start from the beginning and I would highlight the second and third bullet on this paragraph. This article from Amny actually shocked me big time. While the United states struggle with lack of job, some jobs don't have sick leave and many others reduce benefits. MTA actually allow a mostly 200 pounds man or tough woman get away with this. I work hard for my money and if I spend it on something, err transit, transit better work hard for me. If I were to spit on one of those individuals in the street I would get into a big fight, they would respond. If I spit on them while they have the MTA uniform on they would likely lock the bus so I don't escape, call the supervisor, I get jail time and this individual get house time.
Friend: "Jerry why you are not working?"
Jerry: "I'm traumatized"
Friend: "Did you crash someone on the tracks?"
Jerry: "No, some idiot spat on my face I need time out"
Sounds like a joke but that's the reality, a shameful reality, some are getting paid for offering no service for a cause not so serious. 191 days off! Are you kidding!! this is one reason why they had to cut other employees "to save money" this is why that station is deteriorating. That station in particular was closed for 6 consecutive weekends and 4 other separate weekends for repairs. The station finally opens and well, we all know the results. That day in particular and probably today too since is pouring outside the E train which runs on 8th avenue was re-routed to sixth avenue from west 4th street to Roosevelt Avenue, the same with the A and C line because water fell onto the A,C, and E tracks on West 4th street as well. Of course there's lack of money these people are resting in their homes and getting paid for no work, they are not producing for the company. I agree with MTA saving some money but criminalizing their own employees is not right. This other article on AMNY over MTA was my second top hated all times. You hire a $1 million dollar auditor to cut health care to some people they thought wont qualify including wife or husband of employees and retired. I believe that health care is the number one thing that should stand. I believe that if you are the only working spouse the company should cover that unemployed spouse. Why? with health care the working and non working spouse get faster medical attention. Less time out for the working spouse which mean more production for the company. This measure of the MTA was criminal and negligent and they should stop it.


  • First thing I would do is look at the current needs and see if I need to hire new employees. I would definitely cut hires for about 5 to 7 years.
  • Cut my salary and other executive salaries
  • Cut down salary to those employed over 10 years by a 5% 
  • Hires under 10 years would gradually decrease their salary until they end up at minus 3 dollars per hour
  • Freeze all salary increase for 5 to 7 years
  • Don't acquire any new gadget during this stage
  • Cut all those cry babies with a 45 days notice
  • Keep fares as they are 
  • By year four hire temporary electricians and construction workers to aid the rehabilitation of the stations. This stage I would call it growth... You know why the MTA have no money? paying too much money to the employees and having too many lazy people around. Having temporary people working with the possibility of going full time is cheap and likely would advance work fast thank to the fact they want to show they are worth the position
  • By year eight I would resume acquiring new gadgets, restore the salaries to the old status and gradually increase salaries to where they were supposed to be by this date.
  • Survey the working force and see if I need new workers at $16 an hour no longer 18 an hour.
The whole purpose is have a descent service in nice looking stations, have it affordable so that mean it would call more riders. I know there are some people that don't ride the subway because it looks like a moving trash can. Doesn't matter how much money you make, nothing can beat a low price ride from the last of Queens to lower Manhattan with no traffic congestion.
MTA is planning to accelerate works on a new subway line in the largest transit system of the world when they can't even handle the existent lines. Basically abusing of the New Yorker offering us low quality services and increasing prices.

See you all in two Thursdays

No comments:

Post a Comment