The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released its 2010 preliminary budget and proposed Four-Year Financial Plan for 2010-2013. The MTA Board will not consider a final budget until December, but the July plan allows for an extended period of public discussion about the MTA's finances and budget proposals.
Some key aspects of the plan include no service cuts or fare increases in the 2010 budget; projected cash balances of $29 million in 2009, $39 million in 2010, $1 million in 2011, and manageable projected deficits for 2012 and 2013; and significant spending restraints, building on the substantial expense reduction taken in 2009 to save $64 million in 2010 - the savings grow to $279 million by 2013.
"We are grateful to Governor Paterson and the Legislature for their strong commitment to the transit system during this current economic downturn," said MTA Board Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger. "Meeting the MTA's fiduciary responsibilities while sparing our customers from the drastic and painful measures proposed earlier this year will help us keep to our mission of providing safe, dependable and affordable public transportation."
The Financial Plan recognizes a continued falloff in real estate tax revenue and ridership as the sluggish economy continues to have a direct impact on the MTA's bottom line. On the positive side, inflation is expected to remain very low in 2009, according to the MTA.
The Financial Plan also includes the 2009 Mid-Year Forecast, which reflects changes from the February 2009 Plan resulting from the passage of legislation to stabilize the MTA's short-term finances. As discussed with the MTA's funding partners in Albany, N.Y., the plan includes 7.5 percent fare increases in both 2011 and 2013.