Any Albany Bailout May Not Avert MTA Fare Hike

The MTA says its deficit will grow another $621 million this year. But officials are giving conflicting messages about whether a State Senate bill under consideration this week, would do enough to soften fare increases and service cuts. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: The MTA was already preparing to impose drastic fare hikes and service cuts. Then today at a board committee meeting, the MTA said the worsening economy has made its deficit much deeper.

Afterward, Chief Executive Lee Sander told reporters a proposed Senate bailout wouldn't prevent the fare hikes and service cuts. Standing right behind him, his chief financial officer, Gary Dellaverson, appeared to contradict him. He said that the authority had factored in a cushion in case tax revenues fell.

Later, an MTA spokesman said in an e-mail that the authority couldn't draw any conclusions since the officials hadn't seen the Senate's math. The full MTA board will take up the issue Wednesday, which is the same day the Senate is supposed to vote on its bill. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.