Trying to cut down on your subway and bus fares? Stop eating pizza.
There are, it would seem, eight million half-baked theories to chronicle New York life. The Pizza Connection is one of them. As explained by columnist Clyde Haberman in today’s New York Times, this is one that has been around since the Koch administration.
Mr. Haberman points out that a slice of pizza near the offices of the Gray Old Lady can run as much as $2.25. (It has been that high at Di Fara for a couple of yearsand well worth it. But we digress.) If history guides the future, the $2 base fare may soon be a thing of the past. Many have heard this theory beforered army loudmouth Curtis Sliwa has often claimed it as his own.
Apparently the source we can thank for such careful observation is Eric M. Bram, a Bronx native who concocted the rising-fare recipe in 1980. At the time, pizza slices were averaging 60 cents while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was charging 50 cents per token. According to today’s report, the theory holds true going back to the early 1960s.
What we’re wondering is if you take the Bram formula and add some Adam Smith, would the quotient be a less expensive ride to work? Probably not. Subway fares are actually much simpler to explain than this quadratic equationlike mess. The city and state governments have other priorities than funding public transportation. So when the bill comes due, the MetroCard takes the hit. It would seem that there is no free lunchespecially if it’s a pizza lunch.
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