BY RICH KNUTSON
It's 2005. For some who may think that I was a casual observer anytime any transportation issues came up, transportation issues will always be coming up. Getting around is always a hot topic and it's a "never a dull moment" subject matter. Just when you think the dust has settled, someone somewhere somehow comes up with another grand scheme. Ya gotta love it.
One thing about transportation, like the beast that it is, it's always moving and you know what they say about a moving target... . Plans and re-plans abound. Studies and more studies are done. One thing remains constant. The COST of getting around and going anywhere ALWAYS goes UP. This time, it's across the board. It doesn't make a difference whether you drive a car, ride the bus or take the train. Taxes, ah hem, excuse me, taxes never go up, the FEES and FARES are moving into the upper atmosphere. We can all say... What happened? How come? What for? Nothing will change. Holding countless hearings, mandated by law by the way, for... the same result.
Here is what is going on... gas prices ride the wave like the stock market does. Up then down and up some more down a little. According to the ad campaigns, you think insurance rates are coming down, who knows, maybe, does that mean surcharge fees are coming down too? Speaking of surcharges... please whatever you do, do NOT get a ticket or summons for any type of anything that has to with a car. Compliments of the state, George are you hearing this? Penalties and fee surcharges on top of those fines have gone through the roof. What may be a $50 ticket, will cost you close to $200 after all the other calculations are added in. The best part, no one tells you this when you get the ticket AND the printed pricing on the ticket is wrong. What you are paying is not what you owe. Another state entity, the MTA, is having a fare increase. Beginning in March, all MTA services, are going UP AGAIN. For someone say, like myself, who commutes into the city, guess what, its going to cost me more to get to work. LIRR goes up, subway goes up, buses go up, tolls on bridges and tunnels go up. Ohhhhhh happy day. But wait, there's more... the registration fees, title fees, license fees and anything else that has to do with the DMV, Department of Motor Vehicles are going up too. I'll tell you, this George guy really gets around. Am I missing anything? I do know that 2005 should prove to be a very interesting year. And to George, if you don't know who I have been talking about, its our very own George Pataki, Governor of New York, we all say Thank you. All of this couldn't happen to a nicer group of people than to the residents of New York.
Rich Knutson is a born and bred Long Islander who understands the joys and frustration of getting around on Long Island. He is a 15+ year LIRR - LI Bus/Suffolk Transit commuter and is a member of a two-car family.