MTA CEO Janno Lieber addresses an MTA meeting on Nov. 30 in New York.

MTA CEO Janno Lieber addresses an MTA meeting on Nov. 30 in New York. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The inconsistent behavior of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to stop.

It brags about its $11.1  billion project [“East Side Access runs late,” News, Nov. 29], but it needs a fare hike due to low ridership.

The MTA brags about the contactless OMNY pay system, but the rollout is delayed until 2025 with a cost overrun of about $127 million [“New LIRR ticket pay system delayed again,” News, Nov. 28].

The MTA brags of new M9 cars, but order fulfillment is years behind schedule. We have circa-1980 models in service.

Gov. Kathy Hochul brags how beautiful the glass ceiling is at Penn Station, yet there is only one bathroom for men and women on the lower level.

I don’t care about “window dressing.” I care about functionality, safety and the men’s room having enough toilets to accommodate riders during rush hours. Why must I contend with people using bathroom sinks as showers, along with homeless people sleeping in the stalls? MTA seniority overtime rules are costly.

The governor needs to step up and drastically change this mismanaged system.

 — Philip M. Orlando, Huntington

Newsday’s cover headline, “MTA faces fiscal cliff,” was no surprise [“MTA mulls 5.5% fare hike,” News, Dec.  1]. The MTA, also known by some of us as the “Money Taking Agency,” has sadly been run by CEOs and financial officers who have not trimmed personnel costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Amtrak faced the grim reality of enacting furloughs because of low ridership, nothing was enacted on the same scale by the MTA. No one looks forward to doing furloughs and layoffs during bad economic times, but the reality of low ridership makes it an unfortunate necessity.

MTA CEO Janno Lieber said, “The MTA is ready to do our part,” but we haven’t heard of any sizable reduction in the $200,000-plus administrative positions.

The private sector has had much pain the past two years with many lost jobs and workers reduced to part-time work.

The MTA must enact efficiencies to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. Raising fares and looking for continued revenue streams from state and federal lawmakers will not solve the MTA’s problems until it finds the answer from within its own bureaucracy.

 — Joe Campbell, Port Washington

Yes, it would be nice if the MTA had done a better job keeping the public informed about changes [“Riders need info on MTA changes,” Editorial, Dec. 6]. You know what would have been nicer? Getting the job done before the holiday season.

The north exit of Grand Central Madison, at East 48th Street, is a block from the Fifth Avenue stores, and mere blocks from Rockefeller Center. That’s much more convenient than Penn Station for those going to Manhattan to see the Christmas tree, the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall, the store displays, and even the menorah at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South.

Instead, Long Islanders are still deposited way over on the west side and 16 blocks south of these iconic New York City attractions, with either a much longer walk or the added expense of a subway ride.

 — Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

When is it time to figure out how to fund the MTA without constantly hurting commuters?

Tons of restaurants and stores are about to start paying rent at Penn Station so new money can come from that. Sell more advertising if necessary.

The money we are already paying is not being well spent. Just look at the rats and trash on the tracks, and consider the homeless situation by the rail and subway stations. That’s in addition to the delays in getting new trains and technology and in finishing existing projects. Increasing fares now when our budgets are already stretched is not the answer.

We are not dumb. The MTA will just wait for us to get used to the new fares and hike them again. It always does.

 — David Shaw, Valley Stream

This is the lesson? Go break the law?

William F.B. O’Reilly has finally stated what most people already feel in “New York’s new pot laws for lawbreakers” [Opinion, Nov. 28]. How absurd is it that if you broke the law (and it was a law at that time) you get rewarded by moving to the front of the line when the state issues pot dispensary licenses? You move ahead of law-abiding citizens!

I wonder if I can get back the fine I paid in 1980 for speeding since the speed limit is now higher on that road, and there would no longer be a fine.

What’s next? Should we forgive people who took out mortgages they could not pay? Oh wait, we’ve done that.

This is a wonderful lesson we’re teaching our kids.

 — George A. Szarmach, Dix Hills

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