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Fare Hikes

Fare Hike 2010: Your Chance to Prop Up Albany

Straphangers, are you ready to subsidize the runaway state budget?

MTA_money.pngBy popular demand, here's an updated graphic depiction of how the state of New York stole dedicated transit tax revenue from the MTA in last year's deficit reduction package. 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").

The Post reports that higher transit fares could be in the cards for the third year in a row, as the MTA re-evaluates its options to cover a $750 million deficit.

State lawmakers passed last year's MTA funding package promising that it was sufficient to stave off service cuts and avert fare hikes until 2011. But that package, which conspicuously lacked bridge tolls, turned out to be insufficient. And to top it off, Albany swiped more than $100 million in dedicated transit tax revenues from the MTA last fall to pay for the state's obligations.

Now, after facing the wrath of transit riders about potential cuts to subway and bus service, the MTA Board is weighing whether to raise fares ahead of schedule instead.

So let's just point out that the amount of money that Albany swiped from dedicated transit taxes last fall ($118 million) is greater than the cost of all the bus and subway service on the chopping block ($77.6 million). A fare hike would basically amount to Albany picking money from straphangers' pockets.

Hat tip @ShellySilver for the Post story.

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