Home MTA Economics MTA Board approves ‘Doomsday’ budget

MTA Board approves ‘Doomsday’ budget

by Benjamin Kabak

I’ll let the press release speak for itself:

The Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today approved the agency’s budget for 2009, including service cuts and a 23% increase in revenue from fares and tolls. These measures were necessary to balance the budget and close a $1.2 billion deficit. Agency officials and board members expressed hope that the recommendations of the Commission appointed by Governor Paterson and chaired by Richard Ravitch would be implemented to return the MTA to stable fiscal footing and eliminate the need for these measures.

“Today we fulfilled our requirement to adopt a balanced budget within the constraints of existing resources, and those resources are simply not great enough,” said H. Dale Hemmerdinger, MTA Chairman. “Our fervent hope is that available resources will grow in the coming months, so that this budget can be amended before it is implemented.”

“I have called this budget draconian, severe, and extremely painful, and it is all of those things,” said Elliot G. Sander, MTA Executive Director and CEO. “We are deeply appreciative of Governor Paterson for convening the Ravitch Commission and of the Governor and Mayor Bloomberg for supporting its recommendations. The transit system is the engine that powers the state’s economy. Implementing the Ravitch recommendations will secure its future and act as a stimulus bill for New York State, and I hope our legislators will act quickly.”

So there you go. The clock is ticking. In March, the board will vote on the fare hike. In June, the hike and service cuts will be implemented. Now is the time to contact your representatives on the City Council and in Albany. Tell them to approve the Ravitch recommendations. Otherwise, we’ll all be paying the costs.

Reactions and more coming later.

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2 comments

The Secret Conductor December 18, 2008 - 2:22 am

WOW…

This looks bad. But will it happen? Personally I actually think the service cuts will happen but the price for entry into the system will stay the same or increase by a few cents.

I think they will drop the W, and Z and then limit service on the B, H, M, and G trains. Bus lines will probably also get allot of cuts too.

But the price is more symbolic to the whole economic situation and the politicians may want to keep the price alone while limiting other things (like service)

—-
/begin rant

And did you hear about the all the other taxes that NY is thinking about putting on the people? Tax here, increase there… and notice no one has talked about:
1) Congestion Pricing
Will anybody investigate what happened to that and why this isn’t the answer to the situation at hand now?
2)Sunset-ing East River Bridge Tolls
Why can’t they say in 10 years we will remove the tolls on the east river bridges (as a matter of law) and just use them during rush hour or if you are using a appoaved rental program or something

I can see parking lot/centers springing up at the outer edges of the system and other areas like Mrtyle Ave/Broadway, Broadway Junction, Atlantic/Pacific, 36 street Brooklyn, and other places where people come in and park their cars (for a fee).

a) Bike lanes become a big force
b) train lines extended further out into queens
c) express tracks added to the J line between Alabama and Parsons (as well as other places such as the F line in Brooklyn,

Finally, all these taxes just makes me want to move. Why not get rid of the taxes on businesses, and middle class while applying smarter taxes such as congestion pricing and such? Why is it that this country’s biggest taxing states are the ones in the most trouble?

/end rant

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Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog » Blog Archive » » Second Ave. Sagas’ top ten of 2008 December 31, 2008 - 2:22 am

[…] on the year that was on Second Ave. Sagas. We talked a lot of transit policy as the MTA dealt with a financial crisis, the death of congestion pricing and fare hikes. While advertising often took center stage, we had […]

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