Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey Cabbie!

The Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed to pay a British firm $500,000.00 to design new taxis. I guess we Americans no longer lead the world in automobile manufacturing or ecology technology. More conveniences for the passenger. More green science to benefit the environment. The first of these new cabs is expected to hit NYC’s streets in the Fall of 2009 (Want to bet?). Let’s just hope these English engineers remember which side of the road we drive on.

Don’t Bet On OTB Winning A Fixed Race

In 2006, the city’s Off-Track Betting Corporation had a gross profit of $125 million dollars. A very tidy sum indeed to spend within the five boroughs. Unfortunately, the now four year old revenue sharing deal with Albany somehow netted the state $134 million dollars on that $125 million gambling surplus. Believe it or not, we owed $9 million on top of the $125 million they already took from us!

Dracula knew how to sip on a neck and not gulp. He didn't completely drain his victims to leave them dead. He managed his resources more intelligently than those controlling the bottom lines now. OTB is looking very pale.

Someone up in Albany has to realize you can’t beat a dead horse to cross the finish line. It has no incentive or life. OTB is in a similar state. Under the present financial system, we can’t win in our place, when we have nothing to show for it in the end. Either the state government should restructure the deal to overwhelmingly benefit New York City or the city should put OTB out to pasture until more reasonable minds prevail.

North, South, East, West. Does D.O.T. Know Best?

The city’s Department of Transportation has a test program underway. It plans to install compasses outside of train stations. This, for the purpose of guiding subway riders to their destinations once they hit the streets and become pedestrians. While some of us do take a moment or so to regain our bearings, we somehow manage to find our way on the surface without any navigation aids. On occasion (men generally excluded), we even ask for directions.

This compass idea seems a bit off course to me. I have another idea. Why not install clocks in the sidewalks? With those in place, riders will know if they’re going to make it to where they’re going on time … or if they’ll be late because of yet another transit service delay!

Let’s not waste revenue on nice but unnecessary devices. None of us want the fare to go north again in the near future, do we?