MTA To Trim $40M From Project Budget

A few days ago, the MTA announced in a continued effort to trim their budget deficit, they would be cutting $40M from planned projects. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News had more in this report:

The MTA will cut $40 million in fat from its budget – chopping 141 projects after a take-no-prisoners review of operations, Chairman Jay Walder said Thursday.

The cuts should be imperceptible to bus, subway and commuter rail riders, officials said, because they target back-office functions like data processing and administrative buildings.

The only exception should hardly be controversial in these dire economic times – the agency won’t replace armrests on some LIRR and Metro-North commuter trains that have snagged and ripped riders’ suit pants and jackets. It would have cost nearly $4 million to fix the design flaw that last year cost the railroads $15,000 to reimburse riders for wardrobe repairs.

The cuts, identified since January, represent half of all the projects funded in the MTA’s operating budget, said MTA Chief Operating Officer Charles Monheim, who led the review.

The decisions and savings illustrate “a different way of doing business at the MTA,” Walder said.

Click here for the complete report.

These cuts are not the result of trimming fat but accurately speaking, the casualties of the current financial crisis crippling the MTA. The projects being cut or pushed back are useful & legitimate. However during this financial crisis, not every noble project can be done. However realistically, it will take a lot more than trimming money from legitimate projects to close the budget gap.

The MTA & the entire region needs our elected officials to pony up the money that is beyond overdue. Anything less is doing a disservice to the MTA & the millions who depend on the service provided. If things continue at the pace they are, the “trimming” will turn into drastic cuts that will affect millions in ways none of us want to see.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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