MTA’s Identified Savings not Enough to Close Budget Gaps Long-Term

A recent news release by the New York State Comptroller’s Office (OSC) indicates that the MTA’s proposal to pay down debt to reduce budget gaps through 2028 by an average of $915 million annually raises questions on how the transit agency will find additional savings and revenue to fund operations when federal aid runs out. With that in mind moving forward, the OSC has urged the MTA to continue searching for operating efficiencies in addition to identifying and expanding cost-saving options to close expected budget gaps. It has been further pointed out by the OSC that “the magnitude of these gaps makes it unlikely that they can be closed by reducing spending alone without leading to a substantial reduction in services and hurting the regional economic recovery;” but since the MTA has limited authority in raising fares and tolls and enhancing other sources of operating revenues, the state, city and federal leaders will ultimately need to be a part of the discussion.