But Thomas Prendergast Wants A Second Look At Recent Service Cuts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man tapped to head the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants a second look at the service cuts that have increased crowding and wait times.

And as WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, some wonder if an improving bottom line for the agency might trim a coming fare hike. MTA higher-ups advised people not to get their hopes up about a fare hike alleviation, but they said the agency will revise its financial forecast this summer.

With $40 million in unexpected revenue on the table incoming MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast has directed agency heads to look at recent service cuts. But Prendergast said a 2015 fare increase still is on the table.

Transit advocate Gene Russianoff said ridership and revenue from transit taxes are on the rise, and he expects service improvements at least.

“We’re not resigned to a fare hike,” Russianoff said. “They’ve had fare hikes in 2009, 2011 and 2013, and they’re talking about 2015. I think it’s unsustainable in terms with the public’s ability to pay that kind of money.”

Transit advocates last weekend also urged the MTA to use the $40 million in extra funds to restore service that was cut in 2010. Those cuts eliminated two subway lines – the V and the W – as well as 34 express bus routes. Weekend and off-peak service was also reduced, the alliance said.

The Riders Alliance said in a news release that the 2013-2014 New York State budget passed last month included an increase of more than $358 million in the operating budget for transit – about 9 percent higher than the previous year. The increase exceeded what the MTA expected to have by about $40 million, the group said.

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