New York City transit passengers have already been shocked by a potential increase in subway/bus fares by as much as 23%. What will we get for paying an astronomically higher amount per ride? Much worse service and dangerous subway stations. The MTA is planning massive budget cuts to close a $900 Billion budget shortfall. Some of the potential cuts were detailed by the Daily News. Station safety is predicated on having enough personnel in place to keep subway entrances and platforms free from dangerous conditions and litter. If the MTA cuts back on these positions the conditions of subway stations will worsen. Reductions in subway staff can also increase crime rates in subway systems.
Transit blogger has a great post detailing how the MTA caused much of its own budget shortfall by playing the same financing games with collateralized debt obligations that caused Wall Street banks so many problems. As with the government bailout of Wall Street, everyday citizens are getting stuck with the bill for the foolish financial mistakes of others.