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Hemmerdinger Ding-Dong: No More Free Rides

A monthly Metro North commuter pass between Rye and Grand Central Terminal  costs $205 a month.

Gov_paterson_with_dale_hemmerding_2That is, unless you are Island Drive resident Elizabeth Hemmerdinger or her husband Dale Hemmerdinger, the multimillionaire chairman of the MTA. Appointed by disgraced Governor Elliot Spitzer, Hemmerdinger and his predecessors have been handing out free Metro North and EZ Pass passes to MTA board members.

Ray_kelly_and_elizabeth_hemmerdin_2(PHOTO: Hemmerdinger, on the right, with NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Maybe what she needs now is a police escort. Credit: Panache Magazine) After the New York Daily News ran an editorial in early May condemning the "outrageous gall" and saying "For shame, Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger", Daily News reporter Pete Donohue reported on Friday that spouses–include Dale Hemmerdinger’s wife Elizabeth–were getting free rides:

"As the MTA reversed course Thursday and proposed canceling free travel passes for MTA honchos, the Daily News learned that nearly a dozen spouses of past or present board members also get the freebies.

The group of lucky ladies – and one fortunate fella – include Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, wife of Dale Hemmerdinger, the multimillionaire chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority…

The Hemmerdingers live on Central Park South in Manhattan and have a summer home in Rye, Westchester County.

A monthly unlimited-ride commuter pass between Grand Central Terminal and Rye costs $205, which is $2,460 over the course of a year….

Hemmerdinger did not return a message seeking comment last night, but the authority defended the freebies as a thank-you for unpaid service."

One thing the Hemmerdingers can’t avoid–free ride or not–is the unfriendly bathroom smell that permeates many of the old trains cars still in service. Maybe when the MTA cronies start footing their own transportation bill the MTA can fund a couple more odor battling maintenance crews.


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