MTA using video conferences to give the public a voice

Tuesday, November 20 2012

Public transportation isn't cheap for either commuters or the state bureaus in charge of operating the services. In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is considering fare increases, which would be a financial burden to riders who rely on trains and buses to get to work.

The MTA, however, has shown it's willing to listen to commuters and consider their needs. The agency recently held the first of four remote meetings regarding the price hikes. Video conferencing software connected New Yorkers with the MTA and recorded the speeches for further consideration.

The goal of the conferences is to give riders the opportunity to appeal to the MTA's board of directors. There will still be a public hearing regarding the proposed fare increases, but logistical restraints limit the amount of people that can participate.

While the first web meeting only had two participants, there should be more in subsequent conferences as word gets out. The MTA's board of directors can't make an informed decision without hearing from riders. If New Yorkers don't take advantage of this opportunity and let their voices be heard, prices will likely increase too sharply for commuters to cover.