Deficit Plan for New York MTA Includes Fare Hikes, More Relief

A series of federal relief funding in 2020 and 2021 helped the New York MTA keep its head above water over the past three years, but the funding is running out and the books still have to be balanced for a post-pandemic world.

2 minute read

December 5, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) took initial steps toward addressing its ongoing fiscal crisis—a persistent theme since the outset of the pandemic that has taken on new urgency without any large-scale relief packages, such as the Covid Relief Act of 2020, on the horizon. According to an article by Steve Bittenbender for the Center Square, the MTA is facing a $11.4 billion shortfall over the next four years.

“With just $5.65 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding remaining, and ridership still lagging from pre-pandemic levels, the state agency that oversees mass transit in the New York City area is looking at a mix of cost saving measures and additional revenue streams to tackle the shortfalls it expects through the 2026 fiscal year,” reports Bittenbender. The MTA’s budget plan was made public during a presentation to the board at the end of November.

The MTA will still need help to balance the books, however. “Part of that plan is the assumption of $600 million more in government aid to help cover the shortfall for the 2023 fiscal year,” reports Bittenbender.

As reported by Jose Martinez for The City, riders might end up covering some of the budget deficit as well. “On the subways and buses, that could mean a $2.90 fare in 2023 and one that hits $3.05 by 2025,” according to Martinez. The MTA last raised fares in April 2019.

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