IBO Report: Examination of the MTA’s Pandemic Ridership & User-Revenues

The report recently released by the Independent Budget Office (IBO) concludes that “if ridership growth continues at current rates, MTA will reach new, mid-year fare/toll revenue goals, but miss its adopted budget goals by nearly $700 million.” As explained in the report, pre-pandemic, user-revenues relied upon heavily by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) accounted for nearly 40% of all MTA revenues — subway swipes, commuter-rail tickets, and bus rides. Highway tolls make up another 13%, with dedicated taxes, subsides and other revenues making up the balance. Since the sharp reduction in user-revenues, and to a lesser extent toll revenues at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the MTA has repeatedly lowered its utilization projections and its corresponding revenue goals, while increasing its reliance on federal aid. Some key takeaways provided within the IBO’s report of how ridership and user-revenues have recovered since March 2020 include [1] public transit fare revenues make up 25% of revenues in the MTA 2023 Preliminary Budget, down from 40% pre-pandemic; [2] public transit ridership continues to remain far below pre-pandemic levels, recovery lagging behind that of bridge and tunnel crossings; [3] a greater proportion of weekly subway trips occurs on weekends; and [4] new ridership projections assume slower growth of transit ridership toward a lower “new normal.”

Source:  http://bit.ly/3AAMIlU