MTA to Consider Fare Hikes
The MTA is considering raising the price of MetroCards in order to cover a $750 million budget shortfall, the *New York Post* reports.
In December 2009, Jay Walder, MTA CEO, said that the Authority wouldn't raise fares until 2011.
However, because of the staggering defecit, the MTA board is considering a series of cost-cutting measures and methods to raise revenue. One thousand employees have already been laid off this year, and they are considering abolishing discounted student MetroCards.
According to the *Post*, the MTA earns close to $50 million for every percentage point it raises the fare.
Cabbies Routinely Overcharged Riders
According to a report released by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, cab drivers routinely overcharged riders an average $5 per trip over a 26-month period, costing New York City riders a total of $8.3 million.
The *New York Times* reports that drivers would flip a switch on their meter to charge rates for trips outside the five boroughs.
The commission said it has since ordered devices to be installed in meters to alert riders when the higher rates are being charged.
Investigators found that as many as 36,000 cabbies overcharged at least once and that roughly 3,000 did so more than 100 times.
Governor Goes Unaided
On March 17, Governor David Paterson's press secretary and acting chief spokeswoman, Marissa Shorenstein, announced her resignation from the Governor's administration. This is the fifth resignation from Paterson's office after a domestic violence dispute with Paterson's top aide, David Johnson.
“Throughout my career, I have performed my duties professionally and with integrity, basing my actions on what I believed to be true at the time,” Shorenstein said in a statement to the *New York Times*.
In February, the *Times* released a story about Johnson's alleged abuse of his ex-girlfriend, Sherr-una Booker. Several calls were placed to Booker from Paterson's administration, trying to get her to drop charges against Johnson. The State Police was also involved, even if the case was not within their jurisdiction.
New York Congressman Resigns After Gropping Allegations
Representative Eric Massa (D-NY) resigned from the House of Representatives on March 8 after being dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct. Massa is said to have made inappropriate advances and groped a younger male member of his staff.
Massa said his resignation is unrelated to the scandal.
In an interview with Fox's Glenn Beck on March 10, Massa tried to explain the incident, saying that it was just horesplay. "I tickled him until he couldn't breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me," said Massa. "It was my fiftieth birthday."
According to the *Washington Post*, Massa has a history of such lewd behavior dating back to at least a year during which he groped several male staffers in his office on multiple occasions.
Malcolm X Killer to be Paroled
Thomas Hagan, 69, the only person to have confessed to the killing of Malcolm X, was granted parole and will be released some time in April.
Hagan has spent the past two decades on work release, but spends two nights every week in the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Manhattan.
Hagan was arrested along with two others following the 1965 shooting at the Audobon in Washington Heights. The two other men maintained their innocence, but Hagan did not. All three men were sentenced to 20 years to life.
In 2008, the *New York Post* reported that Hagan would work at a fast food restaurant and spend time with his wife and children while he was on work release.