|For immediate release:
July 27, 2011
Kate Slevin, Veronica Vanterpool
Statement from Kate Slevin, Tri-State Transportation Campaign Executive Director:
The financing plan announced today would all but guarantee that tomorrow's New Yorkers would face much higher fares and future service cuts. It centers around borrowing an additional $6.9 billion to fund the transit system’s capital needs, saddling future generations with yet more debt. Seventeen cents of every fare dollar already goes to pay off old debt, and this plan would significantly increase that amount.
Furthermore, this plan is balanced only with the help of assumption after assumption. It relies on new revenue from the Port Authority and a loan from the federal government. It assumes changes in labor agreements. It relies on an increase in support from New York City. It relies on an increase in the agency’s debt cap by the State, and approval by the State Legislature of new bonds. It assumes that federal transportation funding will remain at existing levels, when many in Congress are calling for drastic cuts.
Much of our region’s economic dynamism can be traced back to the investments made since the MTA’s first multi-year rebuilding program was created in 1982. The capital program generates tens of thousands of new jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic activity. The projects that the capital plan supports -- such as station rehabs, signal modernization, track work, lighting, and customer assistance -- are essential to the region's prosperity. But this plan amounts to a ticking time bomb.
Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a nonprofit transportation policy group dedicated to creating a more balanced, environmentally friendly and equitable transportation system in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.