With one month until a budget is due (admittedly not the strictest deadline in Albany), Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have to close a deficit nearing $10 billion. Since Cuomo has ruled out any new taxes, he hasn’t left himself with many options. So there’s no doubt that further incursions on dedicated transit funds are at least on the table, and that this year’s raids could cost even more than the $160 million taken last year.
The best hope for transit is to raise the political price of raiding dedicated funds. Cuomo and the legislature have to realize that every time they steal the MTA’s dedicated funds, they’re pushing more service cuts, more fare hikes, and a return to 70s-style disrepair on transit riders. And they have to be convinced that straphangers realize it too.
To help build that pressure, Transportation Alternatives’ Rider Rebellion has launched a new campaign urging transit riders to “Watch Your Wallet.” DNAinfo reports on yesterday’s “mobile protest,” where T.A. alerted riders on the A train.
T.A. urged subway riders to contact Cuomo and warn him against another raid on the MTA. You can e-mail the governor here to tell him not to steal from transit to pay for the state’s budget woes.