Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

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Tommy Meehan
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Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Tommy Meehan » Tue May 12, 2009 3:18 pm

Journal-News wrote: Rockland lawmakers' threats to pull out of MTA an old 'game'
Khurram Saeed
ksaeed@lohud.com
The threat by Rockland lawmakers to pull out of the MTA is nothing new. In fact, if they follow through, it would mark the fourth time in 20 years that the county has sought it as an option.
And why not?
Over that time, the county has been able to negotiate more money or more services (sometimes both) from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City's subways, buses, tunnels, bridges and two suburban commuter railroads.
"It's really a cat-and-mouse game where the MTA comes back and gives them just enough so they stay," said Chestnut Ridge resident Jeff Zupan, a senior transportation fellow at the Regional Plan Association in Manhattan.
The thorny issue has historically been that the county pays more to the MTA than it receives in transit services and funding. According to a 2005 MTA analysis, the county paid $88.2 million in taxes and fees but got back $46.5 million - a gap of nearly $42 million, twice as much as just 10 years ago.
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 9905110337

I've been following this story for quite a while too. Paying $88.2 million for $46.5 million in services doesn't sound too good.

Two questions I have are:

1. Are they putting a dollar value on the Hudson Line train service that hundreds of Rockland commuters ride every weekday? Many of them brought directly to the trains by (non-MTA) Rockland County buses.

2. How does Orange County feel about this? The Port Jervis Line serves primarily Orange County doesn't it? If Rockland wants to negotiate directly with NJ Transit (see article text) that means Orange will have to as well.

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Kamen Rider » Tue May 12, 2009 5:58 pm

Since Suffren is an NJT station, pulling out would only mean that Tuxedo and Sloatsburgh would lose thier service. It would be a little longer of a drive, but Harriman and Suffren are only 14 miles apart.

The track is the MTA's in all but name, Rockland would have a heck of a fight to get the service to stop on the line completly if they went down that road.
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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Otto Vondrak » Tue May 12, 2009 6:11 pm

Is Rockland in New York State? I forget sometimes.
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Tommy Meehan » Tue May 12, 2009 6:26 pm

Kamen Rider wrote:Rockland would have a heck of a fight to get the service to stop on the line completely if they went down that road.
Somebody didn't read the article I linked.

Rockland isn't threatening to try and stop the trains. They're threatening to contract directly with NJ Transit the operator of Metro-North's "West of Hudson" service.

They'd pay what NJ Transit required to run the Rockland portion of the Port Jervis service and the Pascack Valley Line.

I do see their point. $88 million for service to six stations -- Suffern, Tuxedo Sloatsburgh, Pearl River, Nanuet and Spring Valley -- sounds pretty steep.

However, one of the Rockland politicians did say that they're aware, contracting directly with NJ Transit might cost even more. Which I'd say is a possibility.

Be careful what you wish for...?

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Tue May 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Tuxedo is actually Orange County.

The MTA is a regional entity consisting of the Five Boroughs plus the surrounding counties (Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau, Suffolk). Do Fairfield and New Haven counties pay in for their service as well, or through ConnDOT?
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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by emtpjimd » Tue May 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Fairfield and New Haven County, CT are funded via the state and the DOT.....(the state owns the trackage in CT Metro North uses). Also, no county government or county taxes in CT (just taxed every other way imaginable....)

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by The Interloafer » Tue May 12, 2009 7:23 pm

How much do Rockland County residents pay for upkeep of highways? How many Rockland County residents use them? Do they pay more per capita than residents of other counties either upstate or in the city? I have no idea because these questions haven't been widely asked or answered by the news media or politicians. Why do we all pay for roads and highways unquestioningly, but when it comes to rails and trains, everyone -- the public, politicians, the press -- fixates on cost?
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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue May 12, 2009 8:07 pm

If Rockland pulls outof MTA wonder what they will run.
The west of of Hudson Locomotives and 64 Commet V's would no longer stop in Rockland county, as they do belong to MTA/Metro north and NJT has no say over that fleet.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Ken S. » Tue May 12, 2009 8:23 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:If Rockland pulls outof MTA wonder what they will run.
The west of of Hudson Locomotives and 64 Commet V's would no longer stop in Rockland county, as they do belong to MTA/Metro north and NJT has no say over that fleet.
Then why do they keep making their way out to Dover?

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue May 12, 2009 8:38 pm

Cause currently they are in pool that allows trips off MNCR territory, NJT can only do so as per contract.
If rockland bows out of MTA , the cars and engines will not be available to them, again that would not be for NJT to decide but by MTA.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Harriman Station » Tue May 12, 2009 11:47 pm

Yes, Tuxedo is in Orange County. The only station owned by Metro-North on the Port Jervis line is Sloatsburg, which is pretty dead to begin with. So, beyond Sloatsburg station, I'm assuming this wouldn't effect Port Jervis Line service (or would Metro-North trains skip Suffern too)? As a side note, it is kind of frustrating being a WoH rider (I'm from Orange County if you didn't get that). WoH people pay the same taxes MTA taxes as everyone else, yet do get the worst service. Granted, the Port Jervis line has made a lot of improvements over the last decade+, and service is a lot better than it used to be, but there is still a lot that could be done. I certainly don't think Orange County should withdraw from the MTA, but I wouldn't mind some more investment (on top of what they've done already) into the Port Jervis line.

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by DutchRailnut » Wed May 13, 2009 6:34 am

Its typical whiny ass complaining, The Nimby's want to fight any improvement and commuters suffer.
After all the entire fleet was replaced in last few years, the line is being purchased from NS so improvements can be made including the current instalation of welded rail, yet its still not enough.
Millions spend but not enough tax to pay for it.
The tappan zee project is being fought by nimby's who don't want influx of outsiders yet again the commuter suffers.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Kamen Rider » Wed May 13, 2009 8:48 am

my though pattern when I mentioned Tuxedo was that the change over point would be moved to the larger Harriman station and Tuxedo would no longer be an MNRR stop.
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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by SecaucusJunction » Wed May 13, 2009 9:11 am

Well MTA did have that 5 year plan for the Port Jervis Line. I think it included double track and larger yard space for more trains. Can we safely assume that this is no longer on the table with the current budget constraints and bailouts from Albany?
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.

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Re: Rockland Considers Pulling Out of MTA

Post by Harriman Station » Wed May 13, 2009 10:39 am

Kamen Rider wrote:my though pattern when I mentioned Tuxedo was that the change over point would be moved to the larger Harriman station and Tuxedo would no longer be an MNRR stop.
I don't think the residents of Tuxedo would appreciate that. Not to mention the political influence Tuxedo holds (they have to be one of the richest towns in all of New York State). What change over point are you referring to anyway?

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