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MTA passes 'doomsday' budget

December 17, 2008 4:16:23 PM PST
The MTA board approved its "doomsday" budget for 2009 that includes $177 million in service reductions across its subways, buses and commuter railroads and a 23 percent fare increase that would take effect in June. Without Albany's help train fare goes up in June.

Riders could pay $2.50 maybe more.

Service cuts to bus lines and subways comes earlier, in March.

The MTA board voted in favor of the doomsday budget, it had no choice. It has to balance its books by law.

"I can't believe the MTA cannot find another way to save money," said Katharine Wolpe.

Subway and bus riders were stunned by today's vote.

"I'm concerned people are having trouble paying their rent, their mortgage, buying food. We need the subway to get back and forth to work." Said Randolph McLaughlin.

At Wednesday's hearing there was plenty of anger.

One man with a group called "bail out the people" came close to threatening the MTA's Executive Director.

Security quickly hustled the man out before he could throw a shoe.

The board is praying and hoping Albany will ride to the rescue by agreeing to put tolls on all east river bridges, and a new payroll tax on every worker.

If that happens today's vote can be rescinded.

One board member said you gotta be kidding! There is no doubt in my mind that nobody is going to step up to the plate," said Norman Seabrook.

If Abany doesn't step up to the plate-today's vote becomes a reality.

To read MTA's full report, CLICK HERE.

WEB PRODUCED BY:Scott Curkin

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