New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released the following statement regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s July financial plan.
“The MTA’s revised ridership projections underscore that it must somehow bridge a looming fiscal canyon of more than $2 billion a year and plan for long-term service challenges. The MTA’s July financial presentation shows operating budget variances excluding federal one-time relief, which clearly shows what my office has been saying since September 2021: The MTA faces major risks to its revenue streams from operating as costs continue to rise, exacerbating a long-term fiscal imbalance.
“Ridership as a percentage of pre-pandemic ridership is now expected to be 61% this year and 79% in 2026, well off the 77% and 87% projected in the MTA’s February plan, resulting in a sustained decline in income. The MTA’s current projections could get even worse as the threat of a recession looms. The growing disparity between revenue and expense requires the MTA to act quickly and creatively to provide options to increase revenue amid shifts in service demand and generate cost savings and savings solutions to mitigate the growing gap.
“The MTA has thankfully turned its back on its misguided plan to fill operational gaps through borrowing, which will reduce the ongoing debt servicing costs associated with the bonds. The Authority has also taken a step forward on the congestion pricing by appointing its Traffic Mobility Review Board, a critical step towards funding its capital plan.
“Reliable and safe public transit is essential to restarting New York City’s economy in an equitable way. Monthly customer satisfaction surveys and the recent quarterly Transit Summit discussions with New York City on the state of service are good steps forward, but the MTA needs to show how it intends to use this information to keep the public informed about how it plans to provide quality service for years to come.”
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