Pressure on Lawmakers for M.T.A. Rescue Gets Going Again

golden Pressure on Lawmakers for M.T.A. Rescue Gets Going AgainALBANY—The pressure on lawmakers to do something about the M.T.A. is starting to build again.

Members of the Straphangers Campaign, as well as other groups—General Contractors Association of New York, Environment Defense Fund, the Campaign for New York's Future and Transportation Alternatives—have so far spent $8,900 to place ads like the one above in newspapers in the districts of some state senators, urging them to act on a plan to help the M.T.A. bridge a widening budget gap.

Legislators left Albany last week without an agreement. They are still negotiating a package with that will probably include some sort of payroll tax, a more modest fare increase and fees for drivers.

Comptroller Bill Thompson is also pressuring Albany—his office sent out a press release reminding people that his official web site allows them to track the effects of the doomsday budget by zip code. Thompson's office said the site launched in mid-February; the Regional Plan Association has a similar web-advocacy tool, as well as maps of service cuts by Senate district.

Thompson opposed earlier versions of the M.T.A. bailout plan that included tolls (these plans died). His own plan suggested weight-based fees on car registration.