On Monday, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released its Final Proposed Budget for 2010. The budget proposal was presented to the MTA Board's Finance Committee and will be presented to the full board for consideration at its meeting later this week.
The MTA is required to pass a balanced budget by the end of the year.
The budget proposal addresses a $383 million gap that had developed over the past two weeks due to several significant unfavorable developments, including a $143 million state budget cut — this is the first time that an existing appropriation to the MTA from dedicated MTA taxes has been reduced after collection by the state — a $100 million reduction in the state's payroll tax projection; and the failure of the MTA's appeal of the TWU Local 100 arbitration, which will raise salaries a collective $91 million.
The budget proposes filling this gap through a number of actions, including:
- Administrative savings: The budget includes a 10 percent cut in payroll expense for the MTA's non-represented workforce, to be achieved by furloughs and a pay lag or replacement administrative savings that can be identified prior to planned implementation in April.
- Service reductions: The budget proposes implementing a series of service reductions adopted by the MTA board in 2008 but never instated.
- Student discounts: The budget proposal calls for elimination of one-half of the current discount in September 2010 and the remaining discount in September 2011.
- Paratransit savings: Paratransit costs at the MTA are rising at a rate far beyond the level of contribution from funding partners. The budget proposes ways to lower costs without jeopardizing the MTA's ability to deliver necessary services.