More Money?

The MTA is raising fares. Again. The new prices take effect in March.

The base fare will go up from $2.50 to $2.75. Unlimited monthly metro cards will go up from $112.00 t0 $116.50.

Am I the only one whose blood boils at the thought of another MTA fare hike?

I understand that they have employees to pay and they have to maintain the train tunnels, bridges, roads as well as the fleet of trains and buses. I appreciate that unlike other cities, the buses and trains 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I also appreciate that we only have to pay one fare, the cost of the trip is not determined by the final destination.

My question is, if the number of riders are going up and they are making all of this money, why is it that the MTA is still in debt and must raise fares every couple of years?

The MTA knows that without them, this city would come to a screeching halt. Many do not drive because they do not have the financial ability to purchase and maintain a car or they simply find it easier to take the train or the bus. That’s the first issue. The second issue is that the extra cost already adds extra financial pressure to many who are unemployed, underemployed, or if they are lucky enough to have a job, they are living paycheck to paycheck.

Let’s use the unlimited fare as an example. Over a period of 12 months, the additional $4.50 comes out to an annual fee of $54.00. While that is not a huge amount of money stretched over a year, it does not help when one is financially insecure and has no choice but to pay the additional fee simply to get around.

I am not a happy camper.


Sarah Bunting

This post contains spoilers in regards to past and present Downton Abbey plots. If you are catching up on previous seasons and have not seen the latest episode, do not read.

One of the newest characters on Downton Abbey is Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis).  Introduced towards the end of the 4th season, Miss Bunting teaches at one of the local schools. She met Tom Branson (Allen Leech), the widower son in law of the Earl and Countess of Grantham at a political event. In the three episodes that has aired so far in the United States, Miss Bunting has managed to gain the friendship of Lady Rose (Lily James), helped to improve Daisy’s (Sophie McShera) education and has been at Tom’s side several times, while insulting several members of the family upstairs and riling feathers downstairs.

In introducing Miss Bunting as a possible love interest for Tom, Julian Fellows has awakened Tom’s dormant political nature. Ever since the death of Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) during the third season and the birth of their daughter, Sybbie, Tom has felt torn between his political past and his present as a father and a member of the Crawley family.

Personally, I don’t like Miss Bunting. Having opinions is well and good, but being a loud mouth who insults people is not the way to make and keep friends. The one lesson that any singleton should take away from this character, is that if you are attracted to someone, insulting their family and lifestyle is not the way to  keep that person in your life.

I think Tom is better off single or with someone else.

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