More Bad News From The MTA, More Hypocrisy From Albany

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Albany stole money from dedicated transit taxes.
(Graph is by Streetsblog.)

Ready to pay more for less subway and bus service? On Friday, the New York Post reported that the MTA may raise fares this year, as the transit agency’s finances continue to deteriorate.  The package of transit, student MetroCard, and paratransit cuts currently planned would close a $383 million budget gap — but since they were announced, that gap has grown to $750 million.  What are some of the reasons? Per the Post, “the state cut aid to the MTA, took money from its tax revenues, and miscalculated how much the agency would get in payroll tax revenues.”

Responding to the story, Streetsblog dug a little deeper into last year’s budget deal (the same one where the state basically abandoned its commitment to help pay for free student MetroCards) to illustrate what state politicians did: They raided funds from certain tax revenues that, by law, are supposed to go to transit in New York City and its suburbs.

By the way, voting in favor of what Streetsblog calls “picking money from straphangers’ pockets” has not stopped state politicians from blasting the MTA for its plans to cut service.  The Daily News has written a series of editorials (see part 1, part 2, and part 3) identifying those legislators who showed up at this month’s public hearings to complain about service cuts they helped create. If transit fares do go up this year, riders might want to send the bill to Albany.