As I mentioned earlier, the MTA Board held a special meeting to discuss worst case scenarios in case a financial bailout of sorts does not materialize. It was safe for one to assume that the details which were to come from the meeting would be of a dire nature. If you did assume this, you were correct on all counts. The MTA Board painted a grim financial future which Sewell Chan of the New York Times has more on in this report:
With the State Senate balking on a financial rescue plan that would impose tolls on East River and Harlem River bridges to help close a mounting budget gap, officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority warned on Friday that if Albany does not act by March 25, they will have no choice but to order steep fare increases, impose “painful” service cuts and lay off at least 1,100 employees.
“The situation is dire,” the authority’s chairman, H. Dale Hemmerdinger, said at a meeting of the authority’s board. He described “25 to 35 percent increases in the cost of getting to work” and “serious and painful cuts in service.”
The Friday board meeting was in large part held to place pressure on Albany to act.
“The Legislature has not been able to reach an agreement on the Ravitch commission recommendation or any other solution on the M.T.A.’s fiscal crisis,” Mr. Hemmerdinger said. “It’s too soon to know what will happen, but with the March 25 board meeting rapidly approaching, it’s time for the board to refocus on the tough decisions that will have go be made to keep our budget balanced.”
Before the board began its deliberations, transit advocates testified for about 40 minutes, telling the board the situation was grave.
Click here for the complete report.
I can’t say I am surprised by any of the news coming out from this meeting. Regardless of the idiocy thought up by those like Malcolm Smith, the March 25th deadline is very real. The impact of the decisions made that day will have an affect on millions of tri-state area residents for years to come. This is a very serious time around these parts & our “so-called” leaders do not seem or care to grasp that. It is a shame that the ultimate screwjob will most likely come down to the people who are “so-called” leaders serve. However isn’t this what you have come to expect from within NY? As a life long New Yorker, I have.
xoxo Transit Blogger