on Tue Mar 13 12:11:16 2012, in response to Re: The MTA's Misplaced Priorities, posted by Mr RT on Tue Mar 13 08:01:00 2012.
I realize the difference between capital and operating funds. I mentioned that even if the tablets are provided for free, it will still take operating costs to maintain them. However, I'm not sure the MTA is taking that into account or is underestimating it. To back up that statement I refer you to the person who convinced the MTA to switch from roll signs to digital back around 1980. Although the new electronic signs cost $3,000 each as compared to the roll signs then in use which cost only several hundred dollars each, he was able to convince the MTA to switch promising them they woud save on maintenance costs which the roll signs required, and the electronics did not. He also made it seem that if a route would change you old magically press a button and everything woud be updated. Since he was their resident expert, no one questioned him, when the roll signs were far superior to te digital available at that time
What actually happened was that updating the digitals was much more labor intensive than promised a while it took 6 maintainers to repair all the roll signs, it required 20 electronic maintainers to repair the digitals and the first set suffered from frequent breakdowns.
Service increases are necessary at least for the weekends which now have record high ridership despite all the weekend repair work. You shoud not have to suffer the same crowded riding conditions on weekends as on weekdays.
The MTA wants a leaner meaner system. No matter how high you raise the fare, they will resist any service increases. A major new land use the Racino) is built at Aqueuct and the MTA only reroutes one local bus route inconveniencing through riders.