Bigger MTA fare hike, service cuts possible

April 14, 2009 5:50:09 PM PDT
Problems at the MTA have gone from bad to worse. Tax revenues from albany are way down and that means a bigger deficit -- not of 1.2 billion, but now 1.4 billion.

"We are living in a time of fiscal chaos, of economic uncertainties. Their revenues are down," MTA Funding Commission Chair Richard Ravitch.

If the senate in albany doesn't craft some kind of a new bailout plan, the mta's doomsday budget is going to get even worse.

"We're very limited in what we can do without Albany's help. It's basically fare increases and service cuts," MTA's Jeremy Soffin explained.

Meaning a 23 percent fare hike the end of next month could be even bigger.

"I have to take the train. I have no other choice. If you go by car, the same thing," commuter Judy Namas said.

So far state lawmakers have been unable to craft a bailout plan and time is running out.

"These fare hikes will be astronomical. They are unacceptable and they only get worse when you don't address the situation," Governor Paterson said.

Albany could once again consider tolls or perhaps new parking and taxi fees that might help Manhattan, but not for those in the other four boroughs and beyond.

"The MTA problems are fiscal. They are not congestion pricing problems. Guys, wake up and smell the coffee. There are going to be no tolls," Sen. Carl Kruger said.

Kruger says he's willing to help the mta, once the agency gets its fiscal house in order.

"Politicians who don't want to make tough decisions and cast unhappy votes use that as an excuse by knocking the MTA," Ravitch said.


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