Catching up with stories from Halloween & the weekend, comes this story about MTA officials seeking federal assistance. NY1 Transit Reporter Bobby Cuza has more in this report:
Just when it seemed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s financial picture could not get any worse, it now appears a fare increase planned for next year could be even bigger than expected – thanks in part to the growing budget deficits in Albany.
“We are extremely concerned about what has occurred with the state’s revenues,” said MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot “Lee” Sander.
While not technically a state agency, the MTA does receive state aid. Next year, it was counting on $300 million in new funding from both the state and city to help close a roughly one-billion-dollar deficit.
Like the state, the MTA is now looking to the federal government for help – hoping to cash in on an economic stimulus package, which the MTA hopes will include money for infrastructure projects.
“We have given them a laundry list of things that we think would be helpful to us – station painting, cleaning, cars, that kind of stuff,” said MTA Deputy Executive Director Christopher Boylan. “So it would be things that you could actually create jobs with in 60 to 90 days.”
Click here for a video & the complete report.
Any regular reader of this blog knows how I feel about the role elected officials on all levels played in the MTA being in the hole it is in financially. It is refreshing to see MTA officials seeking federal assistance. If the government can bail out banks, it should be able to do the same for transportation agencies which are just as important to this country as any bank would ever be. If the country’s transit infrastructure collapses, so will this country. This isn’t just an opinion from a passionate transit advocate but an actual fact.
While I doubt the federal government will provide the money necessary to avoid a fare hike, it should look to provide an enormous amount of funds to the MTA as it is the most important transit agency in the country bar none. Lets see i f they will step up to the plate & provide the timely financial hit that is desperately needed to continue the game.
xoxo Transit Blogger