NEW YORK, NY – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been slow to reverse the deterioration in service and we could be moving towards a transit crisis in New Yok City.
“Our regional transit system is in crisis. Service has deteriorated on the city’s subways and buses, the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North. Subway ridership has fallen notwithstanding the largest job expansion in New York City’s history,” said NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. “Despite an infusion of $836 million in state and city funds, there has been little improvement so far in subway service. Riders are leaving the system in frustration and deserve better, especially considering the proposed increase in fares.”
Despite planned fare and toll increases of 4 percent in 2019 and again in 2021, and another round of budget reductions, the MTA projects operating budget gaps that total $262 million in 2020, $424 million in 2021 and $634 million in 2022. The MTA is asking the state to authorize new sources of funding to close the gaps to avoid a crisis.
New York City Transit has proposed a ten-year initiative with a cost of up to $40 billion to modernize the subway system, but funding has not been identified. The MTA is seeking billions from the state and city to help fund its 2020-2024 five-year capital program, which could include the first five years of the subway modernization program. It is also seeking federal funding for extending the Second Avenue Subway.
With New York City refusing to provide adequate funding for subway repairs and upgrades, and federal funding unlikely, the future is bleak for the MTA and city subway system.