MTA: Full restoration will cost $4.75 billion, won’t pass cost to riders

Damage sustained at the South Ferry Station.

The MTA is promising riders they won’t have to shell out any of the $4.75 billion it will take to fully restore the subway, but straphangers aren’t holding their breath.

That staggering price tag is the MTA’s estimate for repairing infrastructure damage and getting the subway system in the same shape it was in before Hurricane Sandy hit. The hope is that insurance will dole out $1 billion and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover most of the rest, but the MTA could be burdened with at least $950 million, which it plans to cover with 30-year bonds.

While MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota promised Wednesday customers won’t be saddled with the bill, the Straphangers Campaign warns the financial plan will eventually lead straight into the pockets of riders.

“Funding these needs by MTA bonds will increase pressure on fares through increased debt service — and it sets a troubling precedent for the funding of the next five-year capital program starting in 2015,” Straphangers Campaign spokesman Gene Russianoff said. “Bottom line, this puts a lot of pressure on the operating budget and that’s not good news for the riding public.”

The campaign did commend the MTA for avoiding service cuts in 2013 and sticking to its pledge to restore $29 million in subway and bus service.

Some straphangers have already felt gouged as the result of Sandy — the MTA announced in November there would be no refunds or extensions for people who purchased unlimited MetroCards and were unable to use them during service interruptions due to the storm.

MTA officials are also set to vote on the 2013 budget Dec. 19, which will likely include a fare hike. The proposals unveiled in October range from increasing the base MetroCard fare 25 cents to $2.50, to a steeper spike of raising the cost of a monthly MetroCard to $125.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.