The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all services, causing a shortage of economic growth. Even motorists and mass transit riders may face toll increase. If the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn’t take some action, even service cut can be witnessed.
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MTA Gaping Budget Hole
In New York, motorists and mass transit riders are already facing fare and toll increases. According to a report released Tuesday by the state comptroller, later in 2021 and 2023 motorist and mass transit riders, could face drastic service cuts.
Only if the federal government doesn’t help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, MTA needs to gap the budget hole, which is the result if the COVID-19 pandemic. For this, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, that tolls and fares are planned to increase 4% in both years. Also, the MTA is planning to decrease its managerial staff by about 2,700 people through deterioration.
If the MTA doesn’t receive federal funds, the worst will be that subway and bus service could be cut as much as 40%. Also, regional rail service to the northern suburbs, Connecticut and Long Island could be reduced as much as 50%.
As a result, The MTA received $4 billion from the federal government previously this year. Besides, they are interrogating for an additional $12 billion. Though so far it is uncertain whether extra money for transit service will be included in coming COVID-19 stimulus bills.
DiNapoli During the Interview
On Tuesday during a conference call with the reporters, DiNapoli said: “Failure to address the problem, would mark the end of regional public transit as we know it, ”.
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Also stating facts, he said, that “ridership had plummeted more than 90% on subways during the height of the pandemic, and riders have only slowly begun to return in recent months. Subway ridership remains down about 70% compared to pre-pandemic levels, far below the MTA’s projections from several months ago. Traffic at toll bridges and tunnels also dropped steeply.”
FYI: During the average time, subway ridership surpasses more than 5 million daily.
DiNapoli referring to mass transit ridership, said: “Any projections are problematic at this point, ”. Further adding, “But the overall expectation is that you won’t see a return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. And that’s a big ‘if.’ A lot is still to be determined.”
According to DiNapoli’s report, even if expected ridership returns by 2023. So, in 2024, the MTA still projects budget shortages totalling more than $19 billion. In 2021, contained in that is a projected $6.3 billion need, which would be more than 50% of total revenues. The report termed the gaps “historical in nature.”
According to reports, in 2021, the projected fare and toll increases would raise $145 million. As a result, by 2024 it will rise to $650 million.