You are not seeing things folks, at the current pace, the MTA will have a budget gap of anywhere between $500 & $700 million dollars. This is up drastically from the $220 million dollar figure projected last December. The news came from MTA CEO Elliot G. Sander who was speaking at a hearing in Albany yesterday that was chaired by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.
Some of the comments Mr. Sander shared during his speech are telling. Here are a couple of samples
- “financial basket case” was used to describe the MTA
- “If it’s not resolved, if it’s not dealt with, the MTA can be characterized as going over a cliff”
- “If we do not have funding … then the only recourse the MTA has is to increase fares, engage in service cutbacks and cutting staff.”
If comments like these are not telling of the dire state of the MTA’s finances, I don’t know what is. As usual we got the usual lip service from Brodsky who chimed in by saying the MTA is in a “political fight” for what little money is available. He wants the agency to be more aggressive in seeking the funds it needs.
I am not one to defend the MTA but lets get real here, be more aggressive? The new regime has pretty much put their cards on the table about their financial situation. What else does Brodsky want? He is coming across as someone who wants to see someone grovel for what they need. Seriously, this is not the time for pettiness. While the MTA has made tons of mistakes, the only way we could see if the new leadership can move things from the status quo is to give them the money they need. So Brodsky, were you lying when you said all the MTA had to do was ask for the money they need or will you come through? The ball is clearly in your court, don’t turn it over!
xoxo Transit Blogger