It's important to note that the mayor of New York City has no control over the MTA. Anything I propose here is merely a suggestion. Although, I look forward to working with the governor after I am elected to implement the following proposed strategy to greatly reduce or eliminate subway fares for New Yorkers altogether while increasing revenue streams for the MTA through other means.
The MTA requires tens of billions in new revenue streams to cover the rapidly increasing costs of tunnel expansion, building new stations, and maintaining old ones in order to provide increased service while lowering subway fares without increasing the existing "MTA Tax" certain employers have to pay.
The city should provide incentives for employers currently paying the existing MTA Tax (Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax) to have the option of paying a slightly higher tax in exchange for a significant share in a new proposed digital advertising program inside the subway cars, buses, and MTA stations.
Fix Subway Fares to the Minimum Wage
Runaway subway fares are one of the primary concerns for New Yorkers who frequently use public transport. Reducing the cost of living that doesn't burden the tax payer or require budget cuts to agencies and corporations is doable and the creation of new businesses and jobs in the process is the goal.
Subway Rates for NYC residents should not exceed 20% of the hourly minimum wage so 20% of the current $15/hr minimum wage would be $3 and cannot be raised unless the city or state raises the minimum wage (18% for a weekly pass, 15% for a monthly pass, or 22% for a new SingleRide ticket.)
People using a benefits card would only pay 10% of the minimum wage which is $1.50 if the minimum wage remains $15/hr. Although, I'd prefer people on benefits receive a free monthly unlimited pass by scanning their new EBT cards.
Tourists pay more for a Metrocard that includes price surges for traveling during rush hour times and charges less during off-peak hours.
I would also encourage the governor to start this percentage closer to 16% which is $2.40 and to implement a fares rollback program to gradually lower these subway fares each quarter as other programs increase revenue for the MTA even to the point of phasing out subway fares altogether for New York City residents if alternate revenue can support the expansions, maintenance, and increased service.
Holographic Sliding Safety Glass Doors for Increased AD Revenue
New Yorkers deserve the added security of Safety Sliding Glass Doors at the edge of every subway platform to prevent falls and limiting garbage from entering the tracks known to cause track fires and delays. These issues also demand additional labor costs to remove debris and unclog drains, all costing money and frustration for the passengers and the workers not to mention this garbage provides food for rats and cockroaches.
These sliding glass doors and their maintenance will be paid for by advertisers. The safety glass can be used for special holographic advertising as well as digital and print zones. Floor to ceiling digital wall tiles will be installed for additional platform-length advertising and public service announcements.
Create MTA Tourist Destinations
Designate more space within the MTA Stations for public art curated through established museums, galleries, and artists to encourage tourists to travel to outer borough locations to enjoy cultural events, shopping, and dining experiences. Let's bring those tourist dollars into the MTA and then to the business owners in the outer boroughs by creating exciting new travel destinations.
The proposed NYC Time Bank will help to create new tourist attractions and events for visitors who will need to use the MTA to see such attractions as the above ground rooftop beautification project landscaping rooftops adjacent to above ground subway tracks providing solar LED decking, atmospheric water generators to self-water rooftop gardens, provide lounge and bbq areas for residents of that building, and solar sculptures and LED and black light murals made available by participating museums, galleries, and artists. The solar decking is translucent and rigged with colored LED as part of a city-wide LED choreography for holidays and special events.
MTA Renewable Energy Sales
I propose we convert the indoor and outdoor MTA real estate into a series of renewable energy farms capturing wind from passing trains, steps of passengers on stairs and high traffic platforms, and covering outdoor areas with solar panels to create a surplus in energy adding more power to the grid to be sold as profit for the MTA to use for operating costs.
I also propose that we assign additional NYC Time Bank Labor to assist existing MTA Union workers to help expand service and improve conditions while making it possible for existing MTA workers to keep their jobs at their set salaries. This is a win-win-win scenario for the union workers, the subway riders, and the MTA itself.
Install NYC Time Bank ATM's that charge no bank fees for all New York City accounts but charges a premium for out of city accounts to pay generate additional revenue for subway maintenance and upgrades. The final ATM screen will ask each customer if they want to donate a dollar (or more) to the NYC Time Bank Zero Percent Homeless Initiative Fund.
Construct an NYC Time Bank Branch at larger MTA stations to sign up new members and provide entrepreneur services and tools for NYC Time Bank members.
MTA Tourist Destinations
I'm also propose new mega MTA stations for outer boroughs designed to create tourist attractions, generating new revenue for local outer-borough economies. Bringing customers to these areas will justify the need for new businesses to fill the hundreds empty storefronts plaguing our city. The increased income of local resident will make it possible to build home ownership possibilities that people in the neighborhood can afford. The MTA can be a valuable asset helping to work with local communities to increase tourism to the outer boroughs profiting the MTA, sponsors, local businesses, and job seekers alike.
New Brooklyn-Queens Trolley System
We're also long overdue for a series of electric Brooklyn-Queens trollies to make inter-borough travel faster and more convenient for New Yorkers who typically need to ride all the way into Manhattan to transfer trains to cross into their adjacent borough. The trollies will of course offer free wifi and provide additional advertising revenue streams for the MTA. These route will create tourist destinations and shopping destinations giving the NYC Time Bank the ability to help local would-be entrepreneurs to open new businesses that create good paying jobs for the community and affordable home ownership opportunities that people in the neighborhood can actually afford.
These trolleys can also be made available (at a substantial fee) to luxury apartment buildings in Brooklyn and Queens who would like special express trolly stops to their address during rush hours and nightlife peak travel times taking their tenants to and from subway stops or inter-borough travel.
6th Avenue Parkland and Trolley
I propose we convert Trinity Street, Church Street, and 6th Avenue into a long stretch of parkland from Battery Park to Central Park filled with fruit trees, berries, and other edibles the public can pick for free. The parkland will be curated with solar sculptures by established museums and galleries.
The loss in metered parking revenue will be made up in new business permits and taxes generated from the new business park. These new businesses will be required to have a small NYC Time Dollar Inventory or Menu available to do businesses in this zone as an added perk for people volunteer for nonprofits and entrepreneurs helping to rebuild the economy through via the NYC Time Bank.
A single extra large lane made of LED solar roads is available for emergency vehicles, a vintage-style electric trolley, and early morning truck deliveries. The rest of the road will be converted to orchards, berry fencing, seating areas, dog runs, playgrounds, and shopping/dining destinations. A few roads leading east to west will also be converted into parkland on streets that will not longer offer cross traffic through 6th the 6th Avenue Parkland.
The NYC Smart City VR Traffic Lights will help to monitor and redirect traffic more easily helping drivers to reach their destinations more quickly and easily.
Coney Island Rat Maze
I would like to propose the MTA implement a no kill zone for rats and mice. Instead, the NYC Time Bank will set traps to catch the rats and mice. They will be neutered and spade before being sent to a rat maze museum located at the Coney Island Station. This rat museum consists of a parklike setting with an elaborate maze of clear plexi tubes creating various sitting areas and workstations. The people visiting the station can view the rats and mice running around the tubes and playing on treadmills, etc. These landscaped art installations are constantly being updated with miniature construction drones as part of an educational and entrepreneur program via the proposed NYC Time Bank. People from other parts of the world can operate a mini mouse drone via a virtual reality headset to run through the tubes with the other mice and rats. Coders will augment gaming situations that allow the players to score points that can be traded in for prizes at the MTA store. The game itself costs money to advance to new levels or the player can invite 10 friends to join the game for a free pass to the next level similar to the Candy Crush gaming model.
Coney Island Casinos
Of course, the Coney Island Casinos is going to create a massive need for reliable and frequent service to and from the station including all new super express trains from Coney Island to Manhattan to encourage more Time Square tourists to visit the shore and spend their tourist dollars with local businesses all year long. The casinos will be responsible for providing extra security for the community as well as housing, feeding, and rehabilitating the homeless. This Zero Percent Homeless Initiative also offers homeless people job developing programs to help the homeless transition successfully back into society while making the homeless valuable members of our community. The casinos will be required to conform to the aesthetic of Coney Island and provide business and home ownership possibilities that people in the neighborhood can afford. The casinos are also responsible for creating a barrier the neighborhood needs to save lives and valuable shoreline real estate and infrastructure from rising sea levels and increasing superstorm activity.
These Casinos will be run by an All Nations Native American Counsel comprised of all nations as apart of the New Amsterdam (6th Borough) Project constructed by the NYC Time Bank. There will be an NYC Casino Tax which will be divided equally between New York City, New York State, the All Nations Native American Counsel, and the NYC Time Bank (25% each).
Bill Cunningham Memorial
57th Street and 5th Avenue will be permanently named the Bill Cunningham corner where a bronze statue of the remarkable New York City photographer holding his camera while perched on his bike will be placed. This camera will actually house a viewing screen where people can view a slideshow of his legendary fashion photos. Using a bluetooth connection people can pay $20 to stand in front of Bill's camera to have their photo taken and included in a special ongoing album celebrating fashion and photography. Proceeds will be used for fashion and photography scholarships for New York City students. Although Bill was a humble, unpretentious man who would shy from having a statue made in his honor, I believe he would be grateful to know that his memory is being utilized to help fund the dreams of would be designers and fashion photographers here in the city he loved so much.
I was fortunate to meet Bill Cunningham on several occasions during my decade of working for 7th of Sixth and IMG helping to produce New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park. Although, it wasn't until Fern Mallis's "Farewell to Bryant Park" Party did Bill photograph me. The photo was picked up by LIFE magazine and I couldn't have been more thrilled. It was a special moment, one I will always remember and cherish for all time. I hope others will feel that special something too when they interact with his memorial.