The Future of Transportation Funding in Uncertain Times

In this Q&A, urban planning professor Mitchell Moss explains how budget crises at the federal, state and local levels will affect transit funding in New York City and other places.
January 31, 2011, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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Moss looks at a future of uncertain funding, but also new ideas for creating sustainable funding sources for transportation.

"The Shoshin Project: What does this environment mean for transportation policy?

Mitchell Moss: Transportation in New York is vital to our economic strength. We are able to bring hundreds of thousands of people in per day by commuter rail, by subway, by bus. In other words, we have an extremely sophisticated mass transit system. That system is dependent upon the fare box, upon revenues from the city and from the state, and one of the great challenges is to maintain that system in good repair. And that's very expensive. I think we have to appreciate that declining revenues from real estate transactions have severely hurt the MTA.

That means three things. We're seeing cutbacks in service, we've seen increases in fares, and we're seeing the need to find new sources of capital, whether that's tolls or different revenue streams, or that can be through private financing. But we're going to have to be more creative in gaining either revenue or productivity out of either the workforce or out of new technologies."

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Published on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 in The Shoshin Project
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