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
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…