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Statement on the MTA’s Capital Plan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced yesterday that it is making a list of $2.5 billion in cuts to its capital plan, claiming that New York City is not doing enough to help finance the plan.

The MTA should apologize to transit riders for threatening to sabotage its own capital plan.  Instead, it should respond to the legitimate questions about the plan.  We need to know exactly how the State’s share will be put together, so we can be sure it is really new money, not just existing money being moved around.  We need to be sure the money won’t be shifted to other uses, which has happened before.  Transit riders deserve to know how the money will be used, and to have a say in those decisions.

The MTA should sit down with State and local elected officials – who represent the riding public – and work out those issues and produce a plan that is fair, transparent and responsive.  How much New York City should contribute should certainly be part of that discussion.

New York City taxpayers and transit riders already pay for 73% of the MTA’s budget.  The MTA should recognize that.  It shouldn’t start the process with threats and bullying.  It should start by sitting down and talking.