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MTA Mulling How To Spend Growing Surplus

MTA interim executive director Thomas Prendergast (L) and acting chairman Fernando Ferrer (R) at MTA headquarters. April 24, 2013.(credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

MTA interim executive director Thomas Prendergast (L) and acting chairman Fernando Ferrer (R) at MTA headquarters. April 24, 2013.(credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With a $40 million surplus developing, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s interim executive director Tom Prendergast has asked the agency’s chiefs to examine recent service cuts.

But Prendergast has made it clear that the fare hikes due to take effect in 2015 are not being pulled from the table.

“If you have revenue that you can put additional service out, you could also use that revenue to hold down the fare. The financial plan is where we are today, which calls for another fare increase,” Prendergast told WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane. “It’s important as we get additional revenue we look at that and present it to the board from a standpoint of where we have dollars to spend, how best to spend those dollars.”

Transit advocate Gene Russianoff with the Straphangers Campaign said the MTA seems to be in a better position to at least reduce crowding.

“They’re financed by riders and the ridership is up. And their series of dedicated taxes on the city’s economy, real estate taxes are beginning to go through the roof again,” he told Murnane.

Russianoff added he is not resigned to another fare hike taking effect.

“2009, 2011, 2013 and they’re talking about 2015. Well, I think that’s unsustainable in terms of the public’s ability to pay that,” Russianoff said.

Prendergast is awaiting state Senate confirmation to officially become the MTA’s chairman and CEO.

How do you think the MTA should spend its surplus? Sound off in the comments section below…