As the U.S. Senate Republican majority has refused to bail out states, cities and public transit agencies, the MTA has unveiled its own proposal for addressing a budget deficit expected to reach $12 billion by the end of 2021. In a presentation to the MTA Board today, agency CFO Bob Foran warned of a 40 percent cut to subway and bus service, a crippling decrease in commuter rail service, the loss of nearly 10,000 jobs across the entire transit agency and a halt to much or all of the MTA’s capital work.
The following images show the top-line budget reductions that could be on the table if the federal government does not step in to fund transit. As MTA Board members called upon the feds to act and some urged the MTA and state to prepare alternative solutions, it’s worth examining if this presentation is a promise of bad things to come, a political salvo in the funding fight or a mix of the two. I’ll have more analysis on that front later, but at a top line, implementing cuts of the nature contemplated by the MTA today would spell the short-term collapse of public transit in the New York City region and a bleak prospect for the area’s and the nation’s economic recovery out of the pandemic.
“The future of the MTA and the future of the New York region,” MTA Chair Pat Foye said today, “rests squarely in the hands of the U.S. Senate.”
Cuts to New York City Transit would drastically increase wait times and crowding
Commuter rail cuts would make some lines nearly useless while others may shut down entirely
The MTA could shelve most or all of the ambitious 2020-2024 Capital Plan, delaying expansion, modernization and accessibility initiatives throughout the region