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De Blasio: Cuomo's commitment to MTA does not address critical needs - Metro US

De Blasio: Cuomo’s commitment to MTA does not address critical needs

Mayor Bill de Blasio again called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget for not fronting enough money to sustain public transit enough.

De Blasio testified in front of lawmakers in Albany that the state’s commitment to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has only declined over the last 14 years.

“The plan is now underfunded by more than $15.5 billion – and the governor’s contribution of just $750 million does not begin to address the critical needs,” de Blasio said. “We cannot ask riders alone to sustain the system with fare increases.”

Last month, the MTA board approved a fare hike that goes into effect on March 22.

Monthly unlimited MetroCards will increase by $4.50 to $116.50, while single-ride fares increase by a 25 cents to $2.75.

Rider advocacy groups criticized the MTA for relying on fare hikes to make up for an ongoing budget shortfall. The current $32 billion capital plan that would maintain and grow the city’s transit infrastructure for the next five years is short $15.2 billion.

But while de Blasio bemoaned the lack of enough financial investment in mass transit by the state, the city has also seen a drop off in its annual contributions to the MTA over the years.

“They both could do better by the transit system,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for riders’ advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign. “A plague on all their houses.”

As it stands, the MTA plan assumes $125 million in annual capital contributions by New York City.

The mayor’s office told Metro it was still calculating how much it will offer in contributions to MTA’s capital plan.

A recent analysis by the New York City Independent Budget Office at Russianoff’s behest found New York City residents alone brought in some $3.1 billion last year in city and state tax revenue alone.

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