How The MTA Fuels The Upstate Economy

Earlier this month, Tri-State Transportation Campaign Associate Director Veronica Vanterpool posted a must read entry about how the MTA helps fuel the upstate economy including regions they do not provide any service in. Here is a sneak peak:

Not surprisingly, most of the debate over the MTA’s financial problems has occurred in the MTA’s 12-county downstate service area, where transit riders face massive fare hikes and service cuts. But the entire state will lose out if the transit agency crumbles. As an MTA report released in March 2008, titled “The Economic Impact of MTA Capital Program Investment on New York State,” points out, the same transit projects that keep the NYC metropolitan area moving keep many upstate cities and towns working.

Overall, the MTA supports thousands of jobs in at least 37 cities in upstate NY. Many New Yorkers — and perhaps even some upstate legislators who must vote on the Ravitch Commission plan to fund the MTA with a downstate payroll tax and East and Harlem River bridge tolls.

MTA capital projects also provide jobs at dozens of companies on Long Island, in Westchester and Rockland Counties, and NYC. The report estimates that the 2005-2009 MTA Capital Program supports 18,500 to 38,500 jobs annually over a 9-year period (some contracts entered into as part of the capital program normally take years beyond the end of the program to fulfill). It also generates:

* $29.2 billion in economic activity/sales,

* $1.1 billion in state and local personal income and sales taxes,

* and $11.8 billion in wages and salaries.

Click here for the complete entry.

I am so glad that she posted this entry. I seriously wonder how many of our upstate based elected officials know this information? I bet they either feel the MTA only serves a purpose downstate & does nothing for their region or could care less. Either way, these same officials are a big reason why the MTA & its riders are facing huge budget deficits & possible “draconian” service cuts.

Lets hope that some of these so called leaders get this information & actually start to give a damn about helping the MTA obtain adequate funding year after year. If things remain status quo, the entire tri-state area will suffer.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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