ALBANY, NY — November 22, 2020 — New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli last week released the following statement in response to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s release of its November budget and financial plan:
“Our regional transit system is on the edge of a precipice. Without a significant infusion of federal funds, the region faces service cuts in 2021 that would change public transit as we know it. It’s too late for federal help to assist the MTA this year, forcing it to borrow almost $3 billion to get through 2020 and saddling it with even more debt in the coming years.
“The severe service cuts the MTA has outlined today would hinder the region’s economic and financial recovery and place a terrible burden on our essential workers. The MTA has pushed back its expectation for ridership to return to close to pre-pandemic levels until after 2024, but these cuts could further delay riders’ return to the system. The MTA estimates that if it does not receive at least $12.7 billion from the federal government over the next three years, the weight of closing that gap will fall on the regional economy, burdening riders, toll payers, the workforce and taxpayers.
“The MTA and its riders are at a dangerous crossroads. Ever higher fare and tolls, layoffs and more borrowing for operating purposes are all bad choices that the MTA will be forced to consider if sufficient federal funding is not received as soon as possible.
“Washington needs to act now to support mass transit, the lifeblood of metropolitan economies.”