December 17, 2009

N.Y. MTA unanimously approves 2010 budget

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) board approved its budget for 2010 by a vote of 12-0.

The board also authorized the MTA to schedule public hearings regarding some of the service changes included in the budget. The budget does not include a fare increase in 2010, adhering to the schedule identified with the Legislature in the spring.

"Because the MTA's transit system matters so much to New Yorkers, when $400 million is taken from the budget practically overnight you have to make the kinds of changes that have an enormous impact on people," said MTA Chairman/CEO Jay H. Walder.

The approved budget addressed a $383 million gap that had developed over the past two weeks due to several significant unfavorable developments:

  • State budget cut: $143 million
  • Reduction in the State's payroll tax projection: $100 million
  • Failure of the MTA's appeal of the TWU Local 100 arbitration: $91 million

The budget fills 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. This includes the elimination of the Rockaway/Broad Channel residents' rebate program.
  • 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.

Public hearings are expected to be held early in 2010.

Complete information on the budget and the service reductions is available online at www.mta.info/mta/budget/.

 

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