Danger Ahead! How to Balance the MTA’s Budget
Citizens Budget Commission, June

Brecher, C.

Despite its essential role in sustaining the New York economy, the MTA is not financed in a consistent or sensible
manner. Specifically, the financing arrangements for the MTA result in:
Problem 1: Repeated operating deficits.
Problem 2: Capital investments insufficient to bring its facilities to a state of good repair.

In order for New York to maintain a strong and vibrant economy, its transportation system has to be kept up to par and expanded to meet future needs. This report examines the two problems and suggests alternative financing policies for the MTA that would balance its operating budget and provide sufficient capital to accelerate the pace at which its facilities are brought to a state of good repair.

The next section describes the vital role of the MTA in transporting people to their jobs in New York's central business district. The following sections explain the MTA's problems identified above, present the CBC's guidelines for funding the MTA services in the future, and estimate the agency's expenditure and revenue requirements under those guidelines. The final section deals with options for meeting revenue requirements by increasing cross subsides from auto users.

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