Brace yourselves New Yorkers, we are in for a hell of a ride…literally
New Yorkers that are using the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as part of their daily commute could soon get slapped with a 15% fare and toll hike if the state Legislature doesn’t bail out the debt-ridden agency, a top transit official warned Monday, according to the Daily News.
The MTA is drowning in a $32 billion debt. MTA Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran noted that their five-year capital budget plan to pay for serious fixes and updates is only half-funded. Therefore, if the agency has to borrow funds to cover the full cost, riders could be the ones that would have to pay up.
If the plan is executed, subway fares could cause a monthly MetroCard, now $116.50, to rise to $134 and single rides now $2.75 to as high as $3.15. Keep in mind, the fare just recently increased on March 22, 2015.
Drivers are by no means excluded from this proposal; hiked bridge tolls would also increase in order to make up the capital budget deficit.
According to the Daily News, Gov. Cuomo has called the capital plan “bloated” and has not detailed how the state plans to fund it.
However, Foran and other transit officials stressed that it is still just a hypothetical scenario, told the Daily News.
“Our CFO was describing what size fare increase could generate the debt service to cover roughly $15 billion,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg.
“It was a hypothetical statement about math. It was explicitly not a statement about what the board is contemplating.”
Lisberg also stressed the importance of the capital budget plan.
“If we are not able to keep building our tracks and repairing our buses, much less expanding for future growth, the system will start to degrade,” Lisberg said.
With Sherley Boursiquot–@sherleybee_