MTA Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Sander; Photo courtesy of Mount Vernon Inquirer
These feelings were shared by Mr. Sander after today’s MTA board meeting. Mr. Sander said that any sort of delay in a fare hike would only cost the MTA more money in the end. He also went on to say: “The reality is the MTA is in need of great financial sums from Albany over the next two calendar years. For us to bank on this when the overall funding need is fares and tolls plus this aide, it…puts at risk the system we have worked so hard to build, to rebuild.”
Mr. Sander shared these feelings even after Westchester Democrat Assemblyman Richard Brodsky presented the board with a letter from 46 members of his chamber. The letter urged the MTA to postpone the fare hike vote until April 15, 2008 when lawmakers would take up the state budget. Mr. Brodsky also went on to say: “All we’re asking you to do is ask us to give you money. We’ll try. There are no guarantees…But working cooperatively, I believe that additional moneys can be found to save the fare.”
However Mr. Sander would have none of it as he said postponing the fare hike vote until April 15th, 2008 would cost the MTA $100 million dollars in revenue it desperately needs. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin reiterated that a December vote was needed due to fare hikes needing a few months to be prepared for their roll out after approval. The possible fare hikes are expected to be implemented between late February & April of next year.