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NY MTA Ponders How To Spend An Extra $40 Million

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 06:31 PM

WNYC

The NY MTA is deciding all the time how to spend the discretionary part of its budget. But rarely is that budget unexpectedly enriched by an extra $40 million, which occurred last month when Albany bestowed that much more than requested in state funds. Now the debate begins on how to spend it.

Competing ideas were thrown into the ring on Monday at a finance committee meeting held at the NY MTA's Midtown headquarters.

Board members Alan Capelli and Mitch Pally proposed setting up a Rider Investment Fund that would be used to restore bus, train and subway service. The authority cut service by $100 million in 2010, then added back and extended service by $29 million dollars last year. Capelli had spoken in favor of the idea on Sunday at a rally on the steps of City Hall held by the Transit Riders Alliance, an advocacy group.

Another official said the surplus should be used instead to delay fare hikes set to kick in 20 months from now. Board member James Sedore disagreed. He said the NY MTA owed raises to its workers, who've been without a contract for 16 months.

"I haven't spoken to all the agency presidents but I can tell you that morale at Metro-North is in the tank," Sedore said.

NY MTA financial officer Robert Foran advised caution because that $40 million dollars might be needed to plug budget holes. "Just because we have a surplus on one budget line doesn't mean we don't have gaps elsewhere in the budget," he said.

The mattered was tabled until July.

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Comments [6]

worker&Rider from Brooklyn

I work for and ride on NY's public transit. We non-union employees (and yes, there are many of us) have not had a cost-of-living "raise" for 5 years. We are universally recognized as the best system in the country, and it's because of the hard work of all us employees. It would be nice if SOME of the money could help us at least keep up with the cost of living! Even if it means keeping the fare increases (and yes, we DO have to pay to ride on our "sister" MTA systems).

May. 31 2013 11:31 AM

@Bernie - Absolutely! The money should be spent on cleaning & sanitizing the subway stations. Also the interiors of train cars could use a good scrubbing.

May. 31 2013 11:11 AM
Bernie from UWS

How about start by buying some bleach, buckets and scrub brushes and getting people to clean up the smelly, noxious stations throughout the system? I'm tired of holding my breath as I walk through half of them.

Apr. 23 2013 04:27 PM
JOSEPH P. WALL from PELHAM BAY

I say,in my opinion, use the extra cash to keep the transit fare low and at the same time start real negotiations with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and give them the contract that they wanted.And above all, please stop buying those very silly 3 door articlated buses that keep fare evasion very high.

Apr. 23 2013 11:32 AM
Steve Andrews from NYC

How/why does this roller coaster regularly happen with the MTA?? They usually provide a good, reliable & very necessary service to NYC. But they seem to alternate years of almost being broke and years of being flush; and regularly manage to raise fares always higher than the rate of inflation on their loyal riders who are dependent on the service. If I were as erratic in my job as the top administrators of the MTA, I wouldn't have it for very long.

Apr. 23 2013 09:23 AM
Stephen from Connecticut

Has MTA prioritized its needs? Or have they become so great that management doesn't know where to begin anymore? What a sad state of affairs for straphangers!

Apr. 23 2013 09:18 AM

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