Doomsday Not Deferred
March 23rd, 2009

“I don’t think the agency should delay any action,” said Gov. David Paterson this morning, thereby admitting that the three men in a room will not be able to reach an agreement on a deal to bail out the Metropolitan Transit Authority before the MTA’s March 25 deadline. On Wednesday, the agency is expected to enact massive fare increases and service cuts to deal with a $1.2 billion operating deficit. “Delaying action, to me, would just ring too true to what’s gone on in Albany too many times,” Paterson said.

The MTA’s finance committee is meeting today to finalize their plans for the fare hikes and service cuts.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith presented a stopgap measure meant to avert immediate fare increases, but did not address the MTA’s long-term financial situation. Transportation advocates as well as Gov. Paterson blasted the plan. MTA officials said that Smith’s plan was based on faulty math and would not prevent fare increases.

Smith responded in a statement last week that said, “The MTA has also claimed that our math relating to bus subsidies was wrong. However, what they neglected to mention is that our numbers were based on how the MTA presented them to us. Our mistake was taking the MTA at their word after years of shaky finances and secret records.”

Smith has demanded a forensic audit of the MTA before he will move on a long-term financial solution for the MTA. Smith and other Senators have questioned the reality of the MTA’s deadline.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver presented a plan of his own earlier this year that was heralded as fair by many but was greeted by opposition in the Senate because of a proposed $2 toll on East River bridges.

Paterson told reporters he did not feel that the impasse over the MTA was his fault and said, “Ascribing any kind of blame to one sector of the
triad is often a way that people try to explain it, but you’ve got to have consensus. That’s the way our democracy works.”

Meanwhile, Transportation Alternatives has released this wacky video to help folks understand the gravity of the MTA funding situation.

By on March 23, 2009, 1:14 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Transportation | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Doomsday Not Deferred”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    March 24th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    This isn’t doomsday.

    What Generation Greed wants is deferred maintenance and an end to reinvestment in the system. They won’t be satisfied they have taken all they can take until they can leave the city in ruins.

    Stop whining, suck it up and pay. Meanwhile, doomday is coming because too many people care only about right now and not about the future. Today’s doomsday was once the future.

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