New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA is facing its greatest challenge in decades. In a report released today, DiNapoli says the MTA has been slow to reverse the deterioration of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and the city subway system.
DiNapoli says the LIRR and Metro-North posted some of the worst on-time performances in August. They both have missed their original deadline to implement Positive Train Control by 2018, and financial gaps in their capital and operating budgets still loom over the MTA.
DiNapoli says the agency needs to focus on cost savings and cost reduction because of its reliance on debt in years past. He also says improvements, while expensive, need to be made.
“These are investments and improvements we can’t afford to walk away from. We just have to figure out how to identify the funding sources, increase the efficiency of the MTA to make sure we deliver on the promise and expectation that the public has.”
The agency has asked the state for more resources, but the state legislature is debating how much to allocate. DiNapoli says some of the biggest risks are assumptions that the economy will continue to stay strong and ridership will start to pick up.
Despite 4 percent fare and toll hikes in 2019 and 2021, the MTA’s budget gaps could total $262 million in 2020, $424 million in 2021 and $634 million in 2022.