While browsing the net late last night, I decided to visit StreetsBlog to see what I might have missed on the transportation front. After scrolling down the page, I found an article by Brad Aaron which talks about how NYC Councilman John Liu wants a federal bailout for the MTA. Mr. Liu made his feelings known as to why he feels the government should step in when he appeared on “The Brian Lehrer Show”:
On WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Tuesday, Liu said an infusion of cash from city, state or federal coffers is the best hope for putting the transit system on solid ground, and again dismissed talk of raising revenue from adding tolls to East River bridges. Here are some of the transportation committee chair’s comments:
It may still be a pipe dream at this point, but we have to talk about going to the federal government for assistance, because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, it will have an impact on the regional economy if it fails. And the kind of deficit that we’re talking about, over a billion dollars, that is nothing to sneeze at. And that is just for next year.”
I don’t think you can raise fares, or cut services, or even impose new tolls to the point of being able to get out of this budget deficit. It’s a structural deficit that is so significant that some external source is required, whether it be the city paying into it, or a combination of city and state paying for it, or the federal government coming up with dollars to shore up the MTA finances.
Click here for the complete report.
I happen to support John’s belief that the federal government should consider a bailout package for the MTA. If banks & other financial type institutions get help along with the potential for the same with automakers, why should the MTA not get any? Unlike the other companies, the MTA is not solely responsible for getting into the financial predicament it finds itself in. While the agency has not always shown the best fiscal responsibility, the consistent lack of adequate funding from our elected officials is the real reason they are in the mess they are in.
If the government can justify handed out huge chunks of money to companies who are mainly responsible for their near demise, the least the feds could do is help out an agency who continues to get the screwjob treatment. Lets hope that more elected officials such as John Liu & Senator Schumer can help lead the charge for much needed & deserved funds even if it is considered a “bailout”.
xoxo Transit Blogger