What If a Rep From NYC Chaired the Assembly Transpo Committee?
As the Ravitch Commission’s first public hearing on how to fix the MTA’s budget woes gets underway, this paragraph from today’s Times story on the Rochester Regional Transit Service (annual budget: $62 million) bears mentioning:
Just four years ago, the Rochester authority was in financial straits
and facing large deficits. Since then, it has lobbied successfully for
increases in state aid, receiving $32.8 million this year, up from $16
million four years ago. It helps that a local assemblyman, David F.
Gantt, is chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.
With more than half of its budget covered by the state, the RTS now runs surpluses consistently and, seemingly alone among local transit agencies, just cut its base fare. Meanwhile, David Gantt won’t even let New York City put enforcement cameras on buses.
How does state aid to the MTA measure up to what the RTS receives? Comparing Rochester’s transit budget to the MTA’s is not exactly apples to apples, but this graphic from a recent Independent Budget Office report [PDF] gives a sense of Albany’s direct contribution: