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Via Garibaldi 8

New Surcharges Still Won't Be Enough to Fix MTA Budget Woes

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For-hire vehicle surcharges in Manhattan won’t fix MTA budget woes, per S&P Global Ratings report

Though the policy is expected to generate $435 million annually, the MTA says that money would go to sustaining new hires for the Subway Action Plan.

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The state budget announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week includes new surcharges for taxi and for-hire vehicle trips south of 96th Street in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

By Vincent Baronevin.barone@amny.com  @vinbaroneUpdated April 10, 2018 7:58 PM

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Revenue generated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new taxi and for-hire vehicle fees won’t be enough to right the MTA’s funding challenges, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The S&P Global Ratings report puts a damper on the budget Cuomo announced last week, which includes new surcharges for vehicle trips that begin, end in or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street: $2.50 for yellow taxis; $2.75 for other for-hire vehicles, including Uber and Lyft; and 75 cents for car pool rides.

The policy is expected to bring in $435 million annually for the MTA, with the authority saying that the money would go to sustaining new hires for the Subway Action Plan — its service improvement strategy.

But the debt-laden transit authority will still need to find additional revenue sources, or cut costs, to alleviate operating budget gaps it’s facing in years to come, according to S&P.

Nevertheless, The MTA likely will still need to achieve additional unidentified savings, a figure that will grow in the out-years, to balance operations if it cannot find additional revenue sources,” wrote credit analyst Paul Dyson in the report.

Sixteen percent of annual MTA spending currently goes toward paying off debt. The authority’s financial troubles could spur, at the least, another fare and toll hike next year. Last November, MTA CFO Robert Foran warned that, if the MTA’s board declines to implement fare hikes planned for 2019 and 2021 and if the agency doesn’t reach its “harder-to-achieve” savings targets, it could be facing a $1.7 billion budget gap by 2021.

Cuomo has described the new surcharges as a victory — the first step toward congestion pricing that would fund the MTA while simultaneously reducing traffic. But after a year of high-profile subway failures, the governor failed to negotiate approval for the robust congestion pricing model outlined by Fix NYC — the panel he had assembled to craft the policy.

The panel recommended instituting new vehicular tolls in the coming years for vehicles passing through the busiest parts of Manhattan, which could have raised more than $1 billion annually for the MTA.

Cuomo’s office referred comment to the state-controlled MTA, which was upbeat about the new fees.

“We are extremely encouraged by the new revenue streams secured for the MTA in the state budget,” said MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein in a statement, “and we will continue to work with our partners in government at all levels to help fund public transit.”

By Vincent Baronevin.barone@amny.com  @vinbarone

Vin has been covering transportation at amNewYork since 2016. He first landed on the beat at his hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, in 2014.

Source: https://www.amny.com/transit/for-hire-vehicle-surcharge-1.17970101

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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The surcharge should've gone to NICE and SCT instead. There's just no point in funding the MTA if they're going to keep crying broke despite receiving billions of dollars in money.

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2 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

The surcharge should've gone to NICE and SCT instead. There's just no point in funding the MTA if they're going to keep crying broke despite receiving billions of dollars in money.

What's really ridiculous is that this report seems to suggest that they really can't add more service.  Forget about "wants".  They can't even add service where it's needed without cutting somewhere else. Just absurd.  I don't understand how they think people are going to be willing to fork over more money and they can't even get on the subway because they're packed to the rafters.  They're going to have to find a way to address adding more service.  Aside from that there's also a breaking point in what people are willing to pay without getting something decent in return.  So if they go through with the fare increases for 2019, what are we looking at? $3.00 - 3.25 base fare, then peak tickets for Metro-North at $9.75 - 10.00 one way, $7.00 for the express bus, and they'll be sure to jack up the Express Bus Plus weekly Metrocard to over $60.00.  (MTA) board member put it best... These fare hikes are not sustainable.

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If you follow the 2 percent every year or the 4 percent every-other-year, at some point, we'll have $10 fares and $50 tolls and that's probably not sustainable," said Andrew Albert, the board representative from the New York City Transit Riders Council.

Source: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2017/11/16/mta-fare-hikes/871061001/

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What's really ridiculous is that this report seems to suggest that they really can't add more service.  Forget about "wants".  They can't even add service where it's needed without cutting somewhere else. Just absurd.  I don't understand how they think people are going to be willing to fork over more money and they can't even get on the subway because they're packed to the rafters.  They're going to have to find a way to address adding more service.  Aside from that there's also a breaking point in what people are willing to pay without getting something decent in return.  So if they go through with the fare increases for 2019, what are we looking at? $3.00 - 3.25 base fare, then peak tickets for Metro-North at $9.75 - 10.00 one way, $7.00 for the express bus, and they'll be sure to jack up the Express Bus Plus weekly Metrocard to over $60.00.  (MTA) board member put it best... These fare hikes are not sustainable.

Source: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2017/11/16/mta-fare-hikes/871061001/

All this horse trading and gimmickry for funding essential services because no one wants to agree to a minimum taxation level that allows for fairly essential government services to be funded adequately and subject to regular audits.

It's like how every product and company has a break-even price and then prices above that for profit.

But it's that "war" that keeps us from having essential things, let alone nice things.

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8 minutes ago, Deucey said:

All this horse trading and gimmickry for funding essential services because no one wants to agree to a minimum taxation level that allows for fairly essential government services to be funded adequately and subject to regular audits.

It's like how every product and company has a break-even price and then prices above that for profit.

But it's that "war" that keeps us from having essential things, let alone nice things.

I don't agree with a minimum taxation level.  Overtaxing those with more is already being done.  The city is spending BILLIONS of dollars putting homeless people in expensive hotels, and yet we still see homeless people sleeping everywhere, every day, so obviously we're paying plenty in taxes for services for those with less. The issue is the spending is out of control with the city, with the State and with the (MTA).  How in the hell do they need almost half a billion dollars a year just to pay for things like salaries, and why do you need to hire so many people to oversee this so called "Subway fix"?  This is just an example of a bloated agency where money is thrown into a black hole and they never have enough of it.   

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I don't agree with a minimum taxation.  Overtaxing those with more is already being done.  The city is spending BILLIONS of dollars putting homeless people in expensive hotels, so obviously we're paying plenty in taxes for services for those with less. The issue is the spending is out of control with the city, with the State and with the (MTA).  How in the hell do they need almost half a billion dollars a year just to pay for things like salaries, and why do you need to hire so many people to oversee this so called "Subway fix"?  This is just an example of a bloated agency where money is thrown into a black hole and they never have enough of it.   

The minimum tax is one component.

The next component is just like you said - profligate spending. We all know the decades of deferred maintenance (because of all the taxation tricks both parties used to either raise or lower taxes for short term goals) made things cost more, but it's the audacity of finally getting money then hiring many folks to do one thing that causes the issue of there not being tax money sufficient AND "Y'all spend too damn much to get too damn little."

I think it's a truism that NY's politics is what gives conservatism legs when it comes to national infrastructure and taxation - because there's no mechanism beyond "honest people" keeping NY honest, and they keep failing at it.

Like I said before elsewhere on here, NY needs some real classical progressivism introduced and implemented if it's a) going to get finances in order and b) get back to being #2 in population and prestige as a state.

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Cuomo should legalize people's referendum or repeal the home rule so nyc can decide what to do with taxing for subways etc for themselves instead of having to go begging to albany

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Just wait until after election and watch all these elected officials who are the cause of the problems will tell the public about the dire consequences of having no money available for transit or housing or anything else. Yet they spent this year giving away the store just to get elected again and will  yell that programs have to be cut on the Wednesday after Election Day. Give me a break! 

Can anyone on this forum help me recollect any program that once it was funded was ever eliminated? Other than the "library omnibus program which provided funding for the purchase of books and programming by the public libraries for inmate libraries, which was phased out, I cannot think of any other program on the state level. There have been some on the federal level but once a program gets started, it will continue to receive funding,no matter if it as achieved its objectives or not. 

While we are discussing transit, may i ask what did these two geniuses do while they were in charge of Housing and Urban Development almost twenty years ago? Did they offer suggestions as to how to make the agency more efficient like letting the tenants buy their own apartments which would have produced income to help repair and renovate the buildings? Many of the tenants would have bought into it and it would have helped the authority's bottom line! Instead they did nothing as usual and now the problem is far worse and the money is here today and gone tomorrow.  

I have lost all hope as I know the candidates that are running like to spend but what really disturbs me are the one that want to take their place are not talking responsibly but are castigating the incumbents for spending too little. 

Spare me!

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Interested Rider said:

Just wait until after election and watch all these elected officials who are the cause of the problems will tell the public about the dire consequences of having no money available for transit or housing or anything else. Yet they spent this year giving away the store just to get elected again and will  yell that programs have to be cut on the Wednesday after Election Day. Give me a break! 

Can anyone on this forum help me recollect any program that once it was funded was ever eliminated? Other than the "library omnibus program which provided funding for the purchase of books and programming by the public libraries for inmate libraries, which was phased out, I cannot think of any other program on the state level. There have been some on the federal level but once a program gets started, it will continue to receive funding,no matter if it as achieved its objectives or not. 

While we are discussing transit, may i ask what did these two geniuses do while they were in charge of Housing and Urban Development almost twenty years ago? Did they offer suggestions as to how to make the agency more efficient like letting the tenants buy their own apartments which would have produced income to help repair and renovate the buildings? Many of the tenants would have bought into it and it would have helped the authority's bottom line! Instead they did nothing as usual and now the problem is far worse and the money is here today and gone tomorrow.  

I have lost all hope as I know the candidates that are running like to spend but what really disturbs me are the one that want to take their place are not talking responsibly but are castigating the incumbents for spending too little. 

Spare me!

 

 

Buying apartments that are in the PJs??? I don't know about that. The whole idea is to provide housing that's affordable and it's done on the taxpayer's dime!  There's no question that they are money pits, but these should be temporary solutions.  You have people earning more than enough to live in market rate housing, but they still live in the projects so that they can drive around in fancy cars. <_<

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10 hours ago, NY1635 said:

The surcharge should've gone to NICE and SCT instead. There's just no point in funding the MTA if they're going to keep crying broke despite receiving billions of dollars in money.

Why would a Manhattan surcharge go to some bus agencies in the boondocks...

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3 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

Why would a Manhattan surcharge go to some bus agencies in the boondocks...

Uber can now operate on LI. The County Executive from Suffolk has been fighting heavily for the surcharge so it can be used to fund their bus system. The new Nassau Executive wants some too for NICE bus. The big problem is that the Taxi companies support the surcharge too because they're losing more customers to Uber than either NICE or SCT.

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2 hours ago, NY1635 said:

Uber can now operate on LI. The County Executive from Suffolk has been fighting heavily for the surcharge so it can be used to fund their bus system. The new Nassau Executive wants some too for NICE bus. The big problem is that the Taxi companies support the surcharge too because they're losing more customers to Uber than either NICE or SCT.

That's because the Taxi companies have crazy fares, it's like $20 to go to the next town over.

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10 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

That's because the Taxi companies have crazy fares, it's like $20 to go to the next town over.

Yep.  Anytime I go out to Long Island, I pay something like $80.00 to do if I don't get a ride from the station.  Each LIRR ticket to and from Mineola is $15.00 - $18.00 each way, then the cab ride each way is $15.00 - 20.00 with the tip. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 6:10 PM, NY1635 said:

Uber can now operate on LI. The County Executive from Suffolk has been fighting heavily for the surcharge so it can be used to fund their bus system. The new Nassau Executive wants some too for NICE bus. The big problem is that the Taxi companies support the surcharge too because they're losing more customers to Uber than either NICE or SCT.

The taxi companies are basically mob fronts the way they operate. Thank god Uber and Lyft showed up.

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13 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

The taxi companies are basically mob fronts the way they operate. Thank god Uber and Lyft showed up.

Not just on Long Island... Here in NYC too... Years ago I took a long lunch on a scorching day.  I go over the Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking District. Took a cab there and back. Coming back to my office, I get in the yellow cab.  The guy tried making up some BS excuse about how his credit card machine was having problems because he wanted me to pay in cash and I was hell bent on using my Amex.  Because he hounded me so much I didn't even consider the request. Like what freaking nerve to try to force me into paying with cash. 

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