Are PATH increases “Fair?”

The purpose of this post is two-fold. To understand the public outcry against anything that results in a cost increase – and to find out what the heck these lame graffiti-style messages are even for!

Are any commuting increases ever fair? Where do you draw the line?

For one, as you can from the photo below, the “messenger” who wrote the phrase “No PATH Fair Increase” on this junction box at the corner of 12th & Washington didn’t do a very good job. He obviously meant PATH fare increase. But that’s OK – we’ll give him a pass. We understand.

However, why do you think commuters get upset when fare increases are proposed? Here are just a few random points to consider:

  • The cost of everything is going up. What makes transportation immune?
  • Fuel costs, insurance, ridership, and many other factors contribute to the cost of doing business.
  • Do you not trust the government’s “books?” And therefore suspect foul-play now that maybe there’s less for them to “steal” or “skim?”
  • You’re barely making the rent already – and the $50 less you’ll have each month cuts into your drunken debauchery?

The lazy and ineffective equivalent to “Four-Minute Men?”

These “magic marker messages” are ALL OVER TOWN. They’re in many towns.

A more important question is: Who the hell is responsible for them?

This reminds me of the Four-Minute Men, who were brought on during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency in 1917 to give “sidewalk speeches” to the public.

Most of what you’ll read will portray these speakers as part of an American “positive” propaganda campaign that dealt with World War One.

However, other sources (that are harder to find – go figure), say that these four-minute men were actually designed to muddy the waters and psychologically manipulate the American people.

President Wilson campaigned on the fact that he would not go to war.

However, after the so-called “success” of this four-minute men campaign (I call it brainwashing), America went to war quickly thereafter, with little resistance from the public. In fact 10 million men enlisted in the armed forces!

I’m just wondering if these local messages aren’t being organized by a larger institution, who has re-invented the four-minute men for the current day.

Does anyone have any insight as to where these are coming from?

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Wait a moment, you are overlooking the facts here as state in the real press and by the PANYNJ itself: it is ratcheting up prices to pay of for the WTC rebuilding. The level of spending on the WTC will one day be looked back on with scorn, I am predicting this right now.

I am not sure it is really ok to tax me higher and higher to build a building that has nothing to do with my commuting or the tunnels. It is really an excuse or even abuse to simply say, oh I’ll gouge these guys to pay for my boondoggle.

rich k
rich k

And when did I earn that icon?!

rich k
rich k
One of the things that will make it hard for this to happen is that PATH would have to give up their SmartLink cards, since the tech that would allow an immediate merger of services only exists in the MetroCard. When you ride the MTA now, the system can figure out that you deserve a free transfer by working out the arrival window at your bus subway stop based on when you entered the system. Get on the C @ 59th, and then catch the crosstown 23rd St bus? Your card IDs that you entered 59th @ 5:30, the system knows it takes 10-15 minutes to get to 23rd, and the average wait for a bus is another 10 minutes. So get on the 23rd 10-25 minutes after entering @ 59th, and you get a transfer. So, enter Hoboken PATH at 8:30, 15-20 to 33rd, xfr to the D, bang you’re in. Long term, when near field tech is ready for prime time, the system would be wave the card to get in, wave the card to get out, allow enough time for a stop at Hudson News and then re-enter the system. Both systems save having to make Metro or SmartLink cards for most riders. Not transferring? Skip the wave out and go. No reason it couldn’t work even further, encouraging HBLR, NJT, LIRR, and MN ridership to increase too. Of course I’m saying this about an infrastructure that can’t grasp how having every southbound HBLR trip through Hoboken… Read more »

The fare increases suck, but there have been some major renovations to the tunnel structure (here it comes) post 9/11 including a gate system that partitions off the corridor in case of a tunnel breach, etc. Of course it’s probably only a matter of months until we find out the real reason is that millions of dollars have mysteriously vanished from their accounts while several of their mgmt team celebrate the construction of their new NJ beach homes.

Rich’s idea is the right thing to do. Therefore it will never happen.


that looks like the work of Capt.Fun.