Running Out of Money at the MTA

The Story

Photo: ablokhin/iStock

The MTA has announced an ambitious $51.5 billion capital plan for the next five years that aims to fix the subway system’s signals and add new buses and trains to the city’s aging fleet. But even with projected new revenue from congestion pricing, the MTA will find itself scrounging for money at the end of each year to pay its expenses. Serious reform is needed to get the authority’s finances in order.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Short: The MTA’s $17.1 billion expense budget falls short by at least $740 million over the next four years. Read more.

  2. Overtime: Annual overtime costs for bus and subway workers alone will eat up a large chunk of the projected $1.5 billion in congestion-pricing revenue. Read more.

  3. Service: Poor service has led to declining ridership, which cuts into operating revenue, perpetuating a vicious circle of decline. Read more.

"The governor loves to talk about 'transformative' infrastructure, but we can’t transform the MTA until we transform work practices."

Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

To Cleanse the MTA By Nicole Gelinas (November 11, 2009)

“And with the MTA, the past is never really past — because we are just starting to pay.”

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