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Editorial: Doing less for more

We have yet to be persuaded that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is justified in raising the fare for subway riders. According to Borough President Helen Marshall, the financial information that the MTA is providing to elected officials is two years old.

At the same time that the MTA is looking to raise the cost of a subway ride, it is also talking about making cuts in service, including the elimination of token booths. In essence, the MTA wants to charge riders more while offering them less.

In may be that the MTA, which had a surplus just a year ago, is looking at red ink. But if that’s the case, then the MTA should put its cards on the table for everyone to see.

In a statement read at a hearing on the proposed fare increase, Marshall said, “tonight I am testifying on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Queens subway riders who in 2001 used the system 215 million times. It does not take a mathematician to realize that an increase in fare plus service reductions equals minus zero for these riders.”

We trust that Marshall and others will hold the feet of the MTA officials to the fire. Before they get a fare increase, make sure there is no alternative.

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