New York, NY —
Officials from the Working Families Party and the labor unions that come under its umbrella held a rally today for an MTA rescue plan. They plan to lobby state lawmakers to approve more money for the transportation authority and head off a fare increase and service cuts. The party's executive director, Dan Cantor, wouldn't take a position on what taxes and fees should be included, but he says the unions agree on general principles.
CANTOR: Everybody pays. Motorists, fare riders, businesses, the whole society depends on it. The details? the legislators have to work that out.
The MTA is facing a $1.2 billion operating deficit that may well grow to $1.4 billion by the end of this year. Fare hikes of roughly 25 percent will start going into effect May 31st in order to fill that budget gap. Service cuts will begin shortly afterwards.