The Rise of the MTA

 New York City is known for its busy streets, city lights and crowded trains. Earlier this year, New York City became more expensive due to an increase in the MTA fares. Although the MTA decided to increase its fares, it hasn’t changed the fact that there are still many issues with the busses and trains. The MTA fare increase affects almost every person that uses the MTA services including students, specifically college students. How does this rise affect students and parents? Sherell Susan has the story.

 I’m in the one-bedroom apartment that Lisa Mapari shares with her mother in Queens, New York. As I walked into the narrow apartment, I realized they’ve been here for fifteen years, and the couch under the cracked window looks even older than that. Mapari is a full-time college student who works a minimum wage job as a waitress while her mother works with special needs kids. She said it has been very difficult to live in such an expensive city, especially now that the MTA increased its fares. Mapari wasn’t aware that the MTA received their funding’s from taxes, tolls and bridges and says she is paying twice over for her monthly metro card.

 “I was not aware but hearing this now is actually a little frustrating because as a student trying to balance full time studies and a full-time job, all my hard-earned money is getting cut because of taxes and on top of that I need to maintain a monthly metro card, so it’s double the expense,” she said.

 This past April, the MTA put into effect the increase in the bus and train fares. The price of a weekly metro card went from $32 to $33 and the cost of a monthly metro card went from $121 to $127. Although a single bus or train ride stayed at $2.75, the cost of the express bus increased from $6.50 to $6.75. Even though a single ride only went up $0.50 in the last ten years, the monthly metro card increased by much more. In 2009 a monthly metro card was $81 compared to $127 that it is today. Despite the increase in fare, many riders believe that the MTA hasn’t done much to better its services rather it has gotten much worse. As a frequent MTA rider, Mapari hasn’t seen any improvements in the busses or trains and believes that the fare increase is another way for the government to get more money.

 “I think the increase in fare is just another thing that’s being done to give the government more funding because we’re getting charged more but the services haven’t changed and still there are many delays and issues with the public transportation. My daily bus ride ranges from 1-2 hours and sometimes I end up being late which results in issues with my boss and professors when I walk in mid shift or class,” she said.

 There are plenty of reasons to be critical of the MTA in terms of how it is run but it is undeniable that the subway system needs a drastic and expensive overhaul. It’s going to take decades to do so. Earlier last month, the MTA once again promised to fix its services but this time with a $51 billion plan in question. This would be considered the largest amount in the MTA’s history and would be effective in 2020. With this new program, the MTA plan to use $40 billion towards improving New York City transit. This plan is supposed to include many benefits for those who use the MTA services daily like more frequent and reliable service on 6-line segments, 70 new ADA accessible stations, over 1,900 new subway cars and over 2,400 new buses. During an MTA board meeting, Lisa Daglion, the executive director of the permanent advisement committee to the MTA says, that congestion pricing funds will be beneficial to the capital plan.

 “We are excited about the FY 2024 capital’s plans potential to transform the riders experience and improve the system, including long awaited accessibility projects. The infusion of congestion pricing funds is a huge game changer,” she said.

Gabriella Barry, a mother of four children of whom two are in college, lives in a three-story house in Queens, New York. Although she does not work, her family’s only provider is her husband who works for a construction company. Having two children in college, Barry needs to pay double every month for their monthly metro card, which is over $250 a month and about $3,000 a year. With the MTA increasing its prices every two years, it puts many NYC citizens under an ever-increasing financial burden, especially Barry. Not only was she not aware that her tax money goes towards the MTA, but now it also goes towards her children’s monthly metro card, which keeps on rising. She believes that the MTA should increase their fares every 10 years because paying for her children’s metro cards gets very expensive.

 “No, I didn’t know they receive the money from taxes. I feel very bad because I pay a lot of taxes and I didn’t know it comes from me in the end and they keep raising and raising and raising and there’s no end to it. I think the increase is too often. They should increase it like every 10 years. I think it’s very expensive especially if you have more than one kid and I think it’s not fair,” she said.

For Baruch college, this is Sherell Susan in Queens, New York.

Podcast Pitch 2

For my 2nd podcast I want to interview a high school student that always takes MTA transportation and a mom that never does. I would ask each person about their thoughts on the increase in bus fare and what they think about the MTA’s new plan to improve the subways.

Podcast Pitch

For my first podcast assignment I am going to interview an aspiring fashion designer. We are going to discuss the hardships of finding a job in the fashion industry, the competitiveness and her own struggles throughout fashion school and how she overcame them.

Podcast Assignment- Six MInutes

The podcast that I decided to listen to for this assignment is called Six Minutes. Six Minutes is a fiction storytelling podcast. There’s 100 episodes in season 2 and each episode is told in six minutes.
This podcast is about an eleven year old girl named Holiday that was found in Alaska with no memory on how she got there by people that claim to be her family while her real family is trying to find her.
I think that the music in the beginning and throughout the episode really brings a sense of the tone of the podcast. Just from the background music the listener can tell that the theme of the podcast is mystery.