Transit Takes Another Hit: $104 Million More in MTA Cuts on the Table

Governor Paterson released a draft budget proposal today in which the dedicated taxes and fees that fund the MTA take another big hit. In a statement, MTA Chair Jay Walder said the budget would deliver $104 million less than expected for the agency in 2010.

That $104 million comes on top of $143 million the state took from the MTA last December to plug a looming budget gap, and the huge shortfall in revenue from the recently enacted payroll tax. 

In related news (file under "crisis equals opportunity"), the draft budget also proposes deploying speed enforcement cameras, which would be a first for New York State. The cameras would be located "in 40 work zones and 10 additional areas," according to the Times-Union.

We’ll have more on these stories as they develop. For now, I think it’s a good time to revisit the question that John Kaehny posed here last month. Are bridge tolls dead, or are they inevitable?

  • At what point does the MTA produce a graph for the front page of their website and plastered ads on on subways and buses that shows the decline in City and State Support or the level of overall funding provided by the farebox compared to other cities? I think now would be a good time

  • Ian Turner

    Glenn, since the MTA board is appointed by Albany, it seems highly unlikely that they would deliberately and publicly antagonize Albany. All that would get you is a new board of directors.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Worst case scenario.

    Bridge tolls are enacted, but do not make a dent in the financial disaster.

    Service cuts and fare increases continue and deferred maintenance accelerate. All the money goes to debts and pensions — rich people who have tax exempt bonds, politically powerful public employee union retirees who have tax exempt pensions.

    The evildoers, who ran up all the debts that led to this mess, say “I told you so” and blame the “unaccountable MTA.”

  • As long as the State persists in spending taxpayer money to maintain and expand highways and bridges without charging to use them, it will need to spend taxpayer money to maintain and expand transit.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Ian,
    Not to be too much of a nudge on little things like facts but, Albany doesn’t appoint a majority of the MTA Board. The Governor has some appointees, but no where near a majority. And, this Governor has only appointed one guy. Traditionally, when a Governor leaves offices his members resign, but that didn’t happen when Pataki left office and you still have to live with his legacy on the Board, but again, no where near a majority. The Mayor has four appointees who all vote the same, that is the most dense center of political gravity on the Board.

    I think you would find the actual distribution of power on the MTA Board much more interesting than the straw-man version.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

No matter how bad the service gets, transit riders will always have these USB ports.

Cuomo Breaks Another Promise to Transit Riders

|
Five years ago, Cuomo promised to allocate $320 million annually to the MTA to make up for cutting one of the agency's dedicated revenue streams. At the time, advocates warned that Cuomo wouldn't keep his promise for long. They were right: This year the governor's draft budget calls for a $65 million cut to MTA funding.

Albany Didn’t “Cut” the MTA Budget. They Stole From It.

|
As part of December’s deficit reduction package, Albany lawmakers took dedicated transit tax revenue from MTA operations to fund other parts of the state budget. The $190 million pot of money is known as the state’s 18-B obligation to the MTA. The total MTA operating budget is nearly $12 billion (with a "b"). When the […]

Advocates and Unions to Cuomo: Put a Stop to Transit Raids

|
A broad coalition of good government groups, transit and environmental advocates, and unions sent a letter to Andrew Cuomo on Friday [PDF] urging the incoming governor to protect straphangers by ensuring that transit revenues are spent on transit. In the last year, Albany raids have shortchanged the MTA of more than $160 million, deepening a […]