The MTA has $32 billion in long-term debt outstanding – more than 41 states and more than $14,000 for each worker commuting daily into New York’s central business district. That is an impressively large sum, but public authority debt is not inherently a bad thing. Nonetheless, debt has become a problem for the MTA because its revenues are not keeping pace with its debt obligations.
In the past two weeks the State Comptroller released the office’s annual review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) financial outlook and the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” featured four contributions addressing “Is there any hope for NYC Transit?” The mix of fact and opinion in these writings may leave many readers more confused than enlightened.
The CBC urged the Port Authority to improve its budget process and make it more transparent. The letter offered six recommendations to resolve these problems, such as long-term planning, regular reporting, and detailed budgeting
In recent weeks transit analysts and advocates have referred to the share of expenses for subway, bus or commuter train rides covered by the relevant fares (called “fare ratios”) to comment on and critique the MTA’s proposed fare increase options. Fare ratios as low as 36 percent and as high as 76 percent have been cited.
In testimony delivered to the MTA by President Carol Kellermann, the CBC recommended three ways to improve revenue generation and suggests several fare-related adjustments to support finances and enhance services.
CBC President Carol Kellermann pens an opinion piece for the Huffington Post on the importance of creating a new approach to financing the MTA. The op-ed is premised on our latest MTA report, "A Better Way to Pay for the MTA"
The MTA plays a vital role in New York City's economy. More than 70 percent of the 3.7 million people who enter New York City’s central business district on a typical weekday come by mass transit. Of those using mass transit, 83 percent or 2.1 million rely on the MTA’s commuter rail, subway or bus services.