MTA Budget Proposes 8 Percent Fare Hike

MTA Executive Director Lee Sander presented the MTA board with his proposal to ask the state, city and riders for more money next year.

REPORTER: The proposal would include an 8 percent fare and toll hike and $300 million from city and state budgets.

For the most part, the board was sympathetic, although they said they would raise fares as a last resort. Representatives for Mayor Bloomberg were markedly more conciliatory than the Mayor himself.

Jeff Kay said he wanted to see the agency cut as much of its costs as possible, but he admitted that would not solve the entire problem.

KAY: No, we can't cut our way out of it, but it is extremely important that we make as many cuts as we possible can.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that any agency that could not cut five percent from a $10-billion budget was poorly managed. Sander said the agency had already reduced expenses by 5 percent and planned another 6 percent reduction over the next four years.

The fare hike will be discussed over the coming months and will not come up for a vote until December.