‘Fiscal tsunami’: MTA chairman says agency is losing $200M per week
A top executive at the MTA says the agency is witnessing a "financial tsunami" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grim news was unveiled at the MTA's board meeting Wednesday. The pandemic is being blamed for fare box and toll revenue down 44%, while costs to fight COVID-19 have skyrocketed.
The MTA says it needs another $3.9 billion in federal aid to make it through the year and will need billions more in the years to come.
MTA CFO Robert Foran says without additional federal funding, “hard decisions will have to be made.”
The MTA says has made $1 billion in cuts, but warns there could be fare and toll increases, service cuts, layoffs and reduced capital programs without additional help.
Some see the funding holdup in Washington as a partisan political issue, but MTA Chairman Pat Foye says they shouldn't be playing politics with a major part of the region’s economic engine.
“With our regional and national economy quite literally at stake, this is not time for political games or delays,” he says.
Chairman Foye says it’s not easy to go ask Washington again for funds after it already received $4 billion in the CARES Act, but he fears the consequences without it.
Long Island lawmakers are also calling on Washington to fund the MTA. State Sen. Todd Kaminsky says Long Islanders and New Yorkers are hurting financially and simply cannot afford another fare hike.