GOP pols push city to pump more money into MTA
Straphangers started paying more to ride buses and subways on Sunday, but New York City isn’t paying its fair share into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s capital plan budget, according to two Republican lawmakers, who are calling on Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to rectify the financial shortfall.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Joe Borelli (R-C-Staten Island) called on de Blasio to “adjust” the city’s contributions to the MTA capital plan budget so that it keeps pace with inflation.
The capital plan budget deals with major construction and repair projects like the Second Avenue subway and station renovations in the transit system.
Golden and Borelli charged that the annual contribution from New York City is approximately $100 million a year. That’s lower than the sum the city paid in 1982, the two lawmakers said.
“The time for the city of New York to invest more in the MTA subways and buses that transport millions throughout the five boroughs each day is now. It is rather alarming that New York City is contributing less to the MTA today than in the year 1982,” Golden said. “I think nothing from more than thirty-three years ago has avoided the cost of inflation except this financial contribution, and there is no denying that our transit system can use the additional funding.”
The mayor was in Albany on Feb. 25 and indicated to state lawmakers that the city would like to see the state make larger contributions to the capital plan budget to help close a multi-billion dollar funding gap, according to Bloomberg Business.
But Golden and Borelli said New York State has contributed over $250 million each year for the last three years, more than double the city’s contribution.
From 1982-1986 New York City contributed about $136 million each year to the capital plan budget. Golden and Borelli said that if the city was just keeping pace with inflation, it would currently be contributing roughly $360 million a year.
“The vast majority of beneficiaries of capital budget plan funding, on NYCTA subways and buses, on the Staten Island Railway, and motorists using the MTA’s bridges and tunnels are New York City residents,” Borelli said. “To request more of the state would be ignoring the substantial inequality in funding that has existed for decades.”
The mayor, however, charged that Albany needs to step up to the plate.
“We’re certainly, you know, concerned about the future of the MTA. So I said, I think Albany, which will go ahead of us, needs to take the situation much more seriously. Their commitment so far at the MTA is far less than is needed. And Albany controls the MTA, but we will address what we believe we can do as well in the capital plan in April,” de Blasio said at a recent press conference.
Meanwhile, the bus and subway fares went up starting at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Riders now have to pay $2.75 for a single ride, up 25 cents from the previous fare of $2.50 per ride. The prices for weekly and monthly Metrocards also increased. And the tolls on bridges and tunnels have gone up.
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