Friday, December 11, 2009

The MTA Threatening Service Cuts After Finding Revenues Fall Short

New York State is out of money. The MTA just announced that they are deep in the red days after saying that they wouldn't need to raise fares because payroll tax revenues were well off projections.

Now, the MTA says that they've got to engage in massive service cuts to balance their books.
Facing another budget crisis, the MTA will propose a shutdown Monday on dozens of bus routes, the elimination of the W and Z subway lines and the overnight closure of four subway stations.

It's the same service reduction plan threatened earlier this year when the MTA was lobbying for a bailout from Albany. The MTA got its bailout and the cuts never happened.

Among the problems the MTA has faced over recent weeks were a $143 million slash in state transit funding and a lower than expected return from state payroll taxes.

Even with the service cuts, the MTA will have to find other ways to make up the lost cash, sources told the Daily News. "We're not going to rely on anyone else to do anything for us. We're going to rely on ourselves," MTA board member Mitchell Pally told the newspaper.
How about wringing more concessions from the union, instead of axing service to many parts of the city.

However, overnight closures of certain subway stations could present the MTA with an opportunity to engage in capital construction projects far more quickly than trying to do upgrades while the system is open to the public. It means that capital construction can proceed; that's something that should be seriously investigated. It would allow the MTA to better allocate its workforce to repair stations and transit infrastructure that has become dangerous or dilapidated or obsolete. After all, there were recent reports how the MTA work repair crews couldn't (wouldn't) do necessary work during the day because of issues with shutting down power and lack of access, costing the city millions.

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