NEW YORK — To avoid another annoying fair hike, the severely indebted Metropolitan Transit Authority announced that beginning March 1st all employees will be expected to start panhandling.
Surprised that after the third fair raise since 2008 commuter traffic has decreased, the MTA explained that panhandling was the only logical alternative.
“I’m honestly surprised we didn’t do this a lot sooner,” MTA director Jen Weng commented. “Additionally, many of our employees have dreams and talents which have gone unrecognized. This is their chance to show off.”
Sources confirm that former 4 Line conductor Ashley Williams, a one time American Idol contestant, is expected to be a big hit. While many employees have expressed skepticism of their new panhandling responsibilities, the relaxation in dress code and personal hygiene has been welcomed by all.
“When they announced a special work meeting for Latino employees, I thought I was gonna lose my job,” says MTA employee Eduardo Socarras. “But then they started asking me about my musical background…” Now Socarras and two other MTA employees are preparing to pose as cousins and perform mariachi on the 7 Line daily, a change which Socarras says, “will not be so bad.”
To aid employees in their new roles, the official MTA uniform is also scheduled to undergo some changes. New accessories including a baseball cap, Styrofoam cup, and a pre-owned brown paper bag, will be added to facilitate collections. Talentless employees will also be permitted to bring family members to help them work, especially if they are children, elderly or handicapped.
While hopes are high for the Panhandling Program, MTA officials have assured commuters that they have not put all their eggs in one basket. Should the Panhandling Program fail in bridging the current 900 million dollar budget gap, a contingency “Pickpocket Program” is slated for introduction in 2014.