MTA to hold $240M in reserve
By Joshua Robin
The MTA will hold $240 million in reserve funds, even as it seeks to raise fares and tolls, according to budget documents released Tuesday.
The funds are $13 million more than the sum expected to be raised by the hikes, which are expected to be approved tomorrow. But the reserves are needed to hedge against unexpected costs or decreases in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's funding subsidies, officials said.
Critics have called for the agency to call off the hikes by tapping into the funds.
"We want them to use that rainy day fund now and stop soaking the riders," said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, which promotes mass transit use.
The documents were released as two key MTA committees voted on whether to recommend passing the authority's 2005 budget tomorrow. One overseeing the agency's finances approved the hike, while the NYC Transit committee deadlocked.
But the 4-4 vote was held as two other members thought to be supportive of the hike were absent. Enough representatives in favor of the increase are expected to vote Thursday.
Gov. George Pataki, who appoints the largest bloc of MTA board members, said yesterday that he had not spoken with his delegates.
"They'll do what they believe is right for the MTA, for the riders, for the system and for the future of New York," Pataki told reporters in Albany.
Submitted by forrest on February 7, 2008 - 13:00. categories [ ]