NY State Comptroller Warns MTA May Have To Raise Fares, Tolls Sooner

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that unless new funding sources are identified, fare and toll hikes may have to happen sooner.

DiNapoli couldn’t say how much or how soon fares and tolls might go up, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WEB EXTRA: Read the comptroller’s 2018 MTA Financial Outlook Report (.pdf)

“There are tremendous needs, both in terms of operating costs, in terms of dealing with the current issues related to the emergency plans that Chairman [Joe] Lhota has.  With the capital plan for the future as well, there clearly is a need to identify billions more,” DiNapoli said.

The report points out LIRR on-time performance was on pace for the worst year in 17 years. Subway problems also prompted the MTA to announce an action plan to handle repairs, but DiNapoli points out no agreement on how to pay for it has been reached. Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a millionaire’s tax to help cover the cost of subway repairs.

“In the absence of adequate funding, the system could fall into further disrepair and riders could face unplanned fare hikes,” DiNapoli said. “The state and city need to find solutions to prevent these possibilities from becoming reality, and the MTA must make the best use of its resources.”

With the MTA already carrying a tremendous amount of debt, DiNapoli points out borrowing is not going to be viable, Lamb reported.

Lhota responded to the comptroller’s report by saying DiNapoli was “fear-mongering.”

“The MTA needs a steady income stream to continue to maintain a state of good repair while at the same time upgrade and expand the system. We are extremely encouraged by the growing support for congestion pricing and we categorically reject the idea of any unplanned fare increases,” Lhota said. “Funding subway repairs will not come on the backs of riders and the comptroller is fear-mongering by injecting unplanned fare increases into the public discourse.”

 

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