MTA again calls on Albany

February 25, 2009 3:20:59 PM PST
The MTA chairman continued to portray the agency's fiscal crisis in stark terms Wednesday, saying a $2 billion lifeline from Albany remains the only way to forestall "dramatic, draconian and destructive" fare increases and service cuts. H. Dale Hemmerdinger, the MTA Chairman, is attempting to put more pressure on Albany to approve the Ravitch Commission's recommendations; specifically, a payroll tax and tolls on East River bridges.

Transit advocates say that the payroll tax, intended to raise $1.5 billion, is widely-expected to be approved. But the tolls proposal, intended to raise $600 million, is facing significant opposition in Albany. A fare increase, advocates say, is inevitable. The question is, how much of an increase?

As for the stimulus money, the chairman said it would be usable only for capital projects and cannot be used to close the deficit. So its impact on fares is essentially irrelevant.


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