In October, when Gov. David Paterson announced a statewide financial crisis, he threatened to cut $113 million in state subsidies to the MTA. Yesterday, the state legislature passed their revised appropriations bill, and the cuts are worse than expected. The new budget — which you can view here — strips approximately $140 million from the MTA. “This is not good news,” non-voting MTA Board member Andrew Albert said to the Daily News.
With the bad news came rumblings of a fare hike. The MTA does not plan to institute another fare hike until 2011, but with this unexpected dip in funding, no options are off the table. Mitchell Pally, another board member, said that the agency is “going to do everything possible to keep fares and service at the same level,” and just three weeks ago, Jay Walder pledged to avoid a 2010 fare hike. Yet, if an unexpected MTA budget gap opens up next year, the agency will have few options as the state tightens its purse strings.