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City Council Warns Transportation Bill In DC Could Hurt NYC Commuters

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Commuters step off the subway (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Commuters step off the subway (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A transportation bill in Washington D.C. could slash funding for mass transit in the Tri-state area and could end up costing commuters more to get to work.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

The bill in Congress could cut close to $1 billion in MTA funding. City Council members say that would mean many of the improvement projects that are planned would be stopped short and straphangers could end up paying the difference.

The City Council issued a press release saying the potential slash in federal funding would mean trouble for the 2nd Avenue subway project, the installation of countdown clocks in subway stations and the extension of the 7 line through the west side of Manhattan.

And that’s not all. Subway riders could be forced to pick up the slack. City Council members warn that fares could increase by 20 percent, meaning the current fare of $2.25 a trip could go up to $2.75. Add that to the fare hike the MTA already has planned for 2013 and straphangers could end up paying $3 a ride or more.

“That would be a little much, especially during this hard economic time,” said Carlos Nieves from Harlem.

“Any cut of $1 billion means higher fares, higher tolls. Things are bad enough. We don’t need the federal government now telling us that they’re going to basically divest of supporting transit here in New York City. That’s unacceptable to taxpayers and straphangers,” City Council transportation committee chairman James Vacca told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.

City Council members are now calling for the House of Representatives to guarantee funding for mass transit. They say that if something isn’t done, 550,000 transit-related jobs in New York City could also be in jeopardy and passengers could see huge disruptions to their commute.

The bill is expected to be voted on by the Senate on Wednesday.

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