"Rescue" Bill for New York's Mass Transit
"When the New York State legislature passed a "rescue" bill for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, transit users across the region let out a sigh of relief. Some of us, however, warned that Albany's rescue wasn't going to solve the MTA's long-term problems. Now the State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, has issued a report that outlines the MTA's budget outlook for the next three years. His conclusion? The MTA will need to continue borrowing to fund its program of repair, maintenance, and expansion of the system. However, according to DiNapoli,
"Such a heavy reliance on debt would place increasing pressure on the operating budget, just as heavy borrowing in the past has contributed to the MTA's current fiscal crisis."
In order to continue to improve the system, after recovering from the blatant neglect of New York's transit infrastructure through the 1970s, the MTA needs about $18 billion over the next five years. Additionally, the region will continue to grow and so will the demands on our transit system. Other trends, such as decreasing automobile use, climbing fuel prices, and the need to address global warming will necessitate a larger, more comprehensive transit system."