Cuomo MIA on MTA Funding as Straphangers Brace for Another Fare Hike

Andrew Cuomo, waving goodbye to any mayoral candidate who thinks they can challenge his MTA control. File photo: Governor's office
Andrew Cuomo, waving goodbye to any mayoral candidate who thinks they can challenge his MTA control. File photo: Governor's office

The MTA board raised transit fares again today. Thanks to Andrew Cuomo’s funding bait-and-switch, straphangers can expect the hikes to keep coming.

In 2015, Cuomo pledged $8.3 billion in state funds for the MTA five-year capital program. But Cuomo delayed $7.3 billion of that contribution indefinitely, saying the state would come through after MTA resources were “exhausted.”

Months later, Cuomo and state legislators raised the MTA debt ceiling, to allow for $14 billion in additional borrowing. So the MTA can go deeper into debt while Cuomo puts off the contribution he promised.

MTA debt has grown substantially during Cuomo’s time in office, putting pressure on the agency’s budget that pushes fares ever upward.

Under the plan approved today, the $2.75 base fare will remain the same, but on March 19 the cost of 7- and 30-day MetroCards will go up, and multi-ride bonuses will drop. It will be the sixth fare hike since 2008, according to NY1.

On fare hike day, straphangers should remember that Cuomo broke a promise that would have helped keep money in their pockets.

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Cuomo Breaks Another Promise to Transit Riders

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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.