Lhota: MTA Not Expected To Raise Fares To Pay For Sandy Repairs
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still in a recovery state after the hit it took from superstorm Sandy, but there is some good news for straphangers.
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MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said Wednesday that he does not anticipate fare increases or service cuts to bankroll repairs to the system.
“The burden of Sandy will not be upon our riders,” he said, noting that serious belt-tightening will be required. “I will do everything I possibly can to enhance service. I will also do everything I possibly can to prevent service reductions.”
The agency board has approved borrowing the $4.8 billion estimated necessary for repairs.
“I have an enormous amount of confidence in the federal government that we will receive a substantial amount of money to cover what’s necessary to get us back to the condition of functionality we had the day before the storm,” he said.
He said he bases that confidence on how reimbursements have been appropriated in other disasters.
Among the biggest jobs is the total restoration of the relatively new South Ferry terminal, which is expected to cost $600 million.
“South Ferry was destroyed. It wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t wrecked. It was destroyed – from top to bottom,” Lhota said.
The MTA will also seek billions of dollars to storm-proof subways and tunnels, but Lhota said that, right now, the priority is restoration.
There is service on all of the New York City subway lines, including H train service to replace part of the A train in the Rockaways.
There is full service on Metro-North Railroad.
The Long Island Rail Road has service on all branches, but service is not at normal levels as Amtrak is still repairing its East River tunnels. Amtrak said it hopes to have those repairs completed by Christmas.
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