MTA Finds Unexpected Windfall

The MTA is on route to finishing the year with $150 million in the bank. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: The transportation authority started the year warning of deep service cuts and a stiff fare increase. Even after the state legislature agreed to bail it out, the MTA expected to close out the year with just a minor surplus. But the latest data show that ridership didn't decline as much as officials thought it would, while fuel prices have fallen that means the MTA may end the year with as much as $150 million. That's enough to cover the raises that an arbitrator ordered for unionized employees, though the MTA's still appealing that decision. Officials say that revenues from real estate taxes may continue to decline, and Governor Paterson is threatening to cut state aid enough to wipe out the surplus. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.