Lagging Transportation Recovery Sparks Need for New MTA Revenue Model
Changes in ridership prompted the “New New York” panel of businesses and civic leaders to recommend “both a sustainable operating budget model for the MTA and more frequent service during off-peak hours.” Serving as the region’s public transit system that services millions of people daily and keeps the nation’s largest economy moving, it is crucial for New York State to invest in transit. The MTA is currently heavily dependent on individual fares, which since the onset of the pandemic has been unable to fully recover according to a November 2022 report by New York City’s Independent Budget Office (IBO). In addition, unlike white-collar workers that enjoy the flexibility of a remote or hybrid work schedule, service workers must show up in person — some outside the traditional rush hours which can result in extended wait times unless the MTA has the funding to add more frequent service during off-peak hours. Cited in example is the suggested even splitting of the gas tax to fund more frequent service, of which the MTA currently receives just one-third of it. “State tax receipts for the most recent quarter of the fiscal year exceeded projections by $7.7 billion according to recent reports by the New York State Comptroller; and the city has a projected surplus for the current and next fiscal year of $4.9 billion and $2.4 billion respectively according to an IBO report, indicating that” both local and state governments can afford to provide additional investment in transit.