MTA Capital Plan Funding To Occur In Fall

Where funding for the last 3 years of the MTA’s current Capital Program would come from has been a hot question inside transit circles of late. Many were wondering when the Cuomo administration would tackle the issue & the answer is upon us. According to a report in Crain’s New York Business, a push for funding will occur in fall. Jeremy Smerd & Shane Dixon Kavanaugh have more:

The Cuomo administration will wait until autumn to deal with funding the remaining three years and $10 billion of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority capital plan, insiders said.

Transportation advocates are anxious but not panicked. The Legislature rarely acts before it must, and the MTA’s capital plan is funded through 2011. About $100 billion has been invested in the MTA since the capital program began in 1982. Some 30% typically comes from the federal government, but transit officials are bracing for a cut this year. The MTA hopes its $10 billion gap will be trimmed by work-rule efficiencies that private contractors may win in new contracts with construction unions.

It remains unclear exactly how much the MTA will need to borrow, but insiders say bonding could require $750 million to $1 billion in new annual revenue starting next year. Fares have been raised for three consecutive years, and a fare hike is already scheduled for 2013, so another one in 2012 is unlikely. The Legislature will instead have to vote on new taxes or fees during a special session late in the year or early next year.

Click here for the complete report.

I am extremely curious as to where this money will come from. Based on current data, the MTA could not borrow more money via bonds as they are at their limit to do so. Unless state officials identify a new funding source for the agency, borrowing will not be the funding savior it normally has been.

As far as arbitration is concerned, I would not bank on that helping with monetary issues as well. Does the agency really need a reminder of what happened the last time they went to arbitration? They got their clock cleaned & in many ways justifiably so.

Let me put this way, a major financial storm is brewing in terms of this funding & in a few months, things will get very interesting for all sides involved!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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