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.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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 […]

Albany’s Selective Theft of Transit Funding: Only NYC Pays

|
Earlier this month we described how Albany made off with more than 100 million dollars in dedicated transit taxes that should have gone to the MTA, using revenues collected from the New York City region to plug the statewide deficit. So we wondered, what’s happening to the state’s other transit authorities? It turns out that […]

State Senate on Transit Funding Meltdown: It Wasn’t Us

|
After omitting bridge tolls from last spring’s transit funding package, then raiding the "piggy bank" to the tune of $143 million, Albany’s neglect of the MTA has left millions of transit-dependent New Yorkers in the lurch. Yet lawmakers have shown no inclination to get to work patching the agency’s ever-widening budget hole, much less coming […]

Congestion Pricing Can Help Save Working NYC Families $2,300 Per Year

|
Without congestion pricing, fare hikes will hit New York’s many transit-using families hard. Image: Ed Yourdon via Flickr. Without bold action from legislators to fund transit, middle-class New York families will have to spend $2,300 more per year to get around the city even as the quality of the service they’re paying for declines, according […]