Hours after city officials warned the MTA to act sooner rather than later to fill the billion dollars deficit in their $32 billion capital program, the MTA said the gap isn't as wide as previously thought.
The MTA’s current cost-saving financial plan has cut that gap from $14.8 billion to $12.4 billion, said MTA CFO Robert Foran during a board meeting on Wednesday.
The MTA's Capital Program, which was passed last fall, is still not fully funded, and pays for major construction and improvements such as the Second Avenue subway.
MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast said the mass transit organization has cut $1.3 billion of expenses this year, and is on track to save $1.8 billion annually by 2019.
Straphangers Campaign attorney Gene Russianoff said during the meeting that the state legislature spent more time during the session, which wrapped up last month, deciding about "dogs, cats and frogs" than MTA riders, referring in part to legislation that designated service dogs as the official New York state dog.
First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris sent a letter to MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast on Tuesday, reminding the MTA that the city contributes to 70 percent of the MTA budget through taxes, tolls and fares, but "the City is ready and willing to work with the State to develop sound, long-term solutions."
"The capital budget is way overdue, said Allen Cappelli, an MTA board member, during the meeting. "We’re going to have people coming with pitchforks if we increase tolls to fund their transit system."
Scheduled four percent fare increases will happen in 2017 and 2019. No additional hikes are planned at this time, according to the MTA.
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