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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA facing toughest financial challenge in decades: report

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MTA facing toughest financial challenge in decades: report

By DAN RIVOLI| TRANSIT REPORTER |OCT 11, 2018 | 11:20 AM

ny-1539272443-gmdn5jaiqe-snap-image

The Daily News reported Wednesday that the budget crunch forced NYC Transit’s Department of Subways to order an overtime freeze this month through March 31, unless it's repair work through the $836 million Subway Action Plan. (Starflamedia / Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The state’s top accountant said the MTA’s finances are at risk of going off the rails.

A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s books by state Controller Tom DiNapoli noted upcoming budget deficits over $1 billion, a planned fare hike and a credit downgrade that could make borrowing more expensive.

The state’s top accountant said the MTA’s finances are at risk of going off the rails.

A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s books by state Controller Tom DiNapoli noted upcoming budget deficits over $1 billion, a planned fare hike and a credit downgrade that could make borrowing more expensive.

His report doubted the MTA’s ability to handle the work proposed under its Fast Forward Plan, its marquee blueprint from NYC Transit President Andy Byford to make the subway reliable.

“Subway ridership has fallen notwithstanding the largest job expansion in New York City’s history,” DiNapoli said. “Despite an infusion of $836 million in state and city funds, there has been little improvement so far in subway service. Riders are leaving the system in frustration and deserve better, especially considering the proposed increase in fares.”

The Daily News reported Wednesday that the budget crunch forced NYC Transit’s Department of Subways to order an overtime freeze this month through March 31, unless it's repair work through the $836 million Subway Action Plan.

In anticipation of the belt tightening, NYC Transit is chopping $123 million next year, through cuts to subway car cleaning and night staff, 12 subway booths, maintenance schedules on certain buses, overnight bus service to the Staten Island Ferry down to once an hour, manual track inspections cut to once a week on a third of the subway system, and deferring Select Bus Service routes until 2021.

DiNapoli pinned the budget gaps on the falling subway ridership, rising cost of health insurance for MTA employees and retirees, more borrowing for capital repair and construction projects.

Gov. Cuomo wants the city and state to fund the MTA’s next capital budget, plus a congestion pricing plan that charges motorists to enter Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio has opposed pumping city money into the plan and has called for a tax on high-earning New Yorkers.

The last time they fought over transit funding, projects were delayed, the report noted.

The task is greater now, with NYC Transit chief Andy Byford’s Fast Forward plan in need of funding. It could be as high as $40 million over 10 years.

Nonetheless, "whether the MTA can successfully manage” even a five-year plan of that size “remains to be seen,” the report said.

The Riders Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group, said the report makes clear the MTA needs more money.

"Drivers can afford to pay more to keep transit functioning for millions of daily riders,” Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein said. “Congestion pricing is a fair funding option that would go a long way toward restoring reliable commutes, increasing capacity on our trains, and making the subway accessible to all New Yorkers."

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-mta-finances-controller-20181011-story.html

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

MTA facing toughest financial challenge in decades: report

By DAN RIVOLI| TRANSIT REPORTER |OCT 11, 2018 | 11:20 AM

ny-1539272443-gmdn5jaiqe-snap-image

The Daily News reported Wednesday that the budget crunch forced NYC Transit’s Department of Subways to order an overtime freeze this month through March 31, unless it's repair work through the $836 million Subway Action Plan. (Starflamedia / Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The state’s top accountant said the MTA’s finances are at risk of going off the rails.

A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s books by state Controller Tom DiNapoli noted upcoming budget deficits over $1 billion, a planned fare hike and a credit downgrade that could make borrowing more expensive.

The state’s top accountant said the MTA’s finances are at risk of going off the rails.

A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s books by state Controller Tom DiNapoli noted upcoming budget deficits over $1 billion, a planned fare hike and a credit downgrade that could make borrowing more expensive.

His report doubted the MTA’s ability to handle the work proposed under its Fast Forward Plan, its marquee blueprint from NYC Transit President Andy Byford to make the subway reliable.

“Subway ridership has fallen notwithstanding the largest job expansion in New York City’s history,” DiNapoli said. “Despite an infusion of $836 million in state and city funds, there has been little improvement so far in subway service. Riders are leaving the system in frustration and deserve better, especially considering the proposed increase in fares.”

The Daily News reported Wednesday that the budget crunch forced NYC Transit’s Department of Subways to order an overtime freeze this month through March 31, unless it's repair work through the $836 million Subway Action Plan.

In anticipation of the belt tightening, NYC Transit is chopping $123 million next year, through cuts to subway car cleaning and night staff, 12 subway booths, maintenance schedules on certain buses, overnight bus service to the Staten Island Ferry down to once an hour, manual track inspections cut to once a week on a third of the subway system, and deferring Select Bus Service routes until 2021.

DiNapoli pinned the budget gaps on the falling subway ridership, rising cost of health insurance for MTA employees and retirees, more borrowing for capital repair and construction projects.

Gov. Cuomo wants the city and state to fund the MTA’s next capital budget, plus a congestion pricing plan that charges motorists to enter Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio has opposed pumping city money into the plan and has called for a tax on high-earning New Yorkers.

The last time they fought over transit funding, projects were delayed, the report noted.

The task is greater now, with NYC Transit chief Andy Byford’s Fast Forward plan in need of funding. It could be as high as $40 million over 10 years.

Nonetheless, "whether the MTA can successfully manage” even a five-year plan of that size “remains to be seen,” the report said.

The Riders Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group, said the report makes clear the MTA needs more money.

"Drivers can afford to pay more to keep transit functioning for millions of daily riders,” Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein said. “Congestion pricing is a fair funding option that would go a long way toward restoring reliable commutes, increasing capacity on our trains, and making the subway accessible to all New Yorkers."

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-mta-finances-controller-20181011-story.html

Oh I can hear those bus cuts already...

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5 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Oh I can hear those bus cuts already...

So can I... By law, they have to balance their budget one way or another... People need to remember that.  That's one reason I'm not so sure that this redesign was poorly planned by coincidence on Staten Island.  You provide good service, you draw more ridership, and after a while running an express bus every few minutes becomes quite expensive. If you run crappy service, you piss some people off enough to get them not to ride, and then if enough of them don't ride, you can cut service, thus saving you money, and while it may seem absurd, if you cut a few trips, that can save a million here and a million there.  Every little bit adds up.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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IMO, if the cut the ferry buses to once an hour over night, they should tell people on the ferry schedule, which buses are connecting. You don't wanna get to St. George and realize that you have 30+ minutes until your connection comes. They should have buses match every ferry. With buses connect every other ferry, if you don't catch the right ferry, you're be forced to pay for a cab if you want to get home as quickly as possible.

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4 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

IMO, if the cut the ferry buses to once an hour over night, they should tell people on the ferry schedule, which buses are connecting. You don't wanna get to St. George and realize that you have 30+ minutes until your connection comes. They should have buses match every ferry. With buses connect every other ferry, if you don't catch the right ferry, you're be forced to pay for a cab if you want to get home as quickly as possible.

They already cut back the buses that they originally added late at night citing low ridership.

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2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They already cut back the buses that they originally added late at night citing low ridership.

I still see the buses running on 30 minute headways overnight.

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1 minute ago, Lil 57 said:

I still see the buses running on 30 minute headways overnight.

Yeah, but they cut something.  What specifically escapes me at the moment.

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50 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah, but they cut something.  What specifically escapes me at the moment.

Not yet. They eventually will cut the overnight service to hourly on all routes.

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2 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Not yet. They eventually will cut the overnight service to hourly on all routes.

Could've sworn they had somewhere. Maybe it was SILive and their bad reporting again...

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah, but they cut something.  What specifically escapes me at the moment.

They cut S78 Bricktown Mall bound service Service Saturday Mornings from every 30 mins to every 45-60 mins.

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3 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

de ja vu all over again.. Back to the 2010 cuts and then some more..

Just when you think they would have their act together... SMDH.

Fat chance... Their costs will only continue to go up.  That's why they're going to need a dedicated cash source long-term.  I think we may see congestion pricing at some point.  Simply too many cars on the roads.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Fat chance... Their costs will only continue to go up.  That's why they're going to need a dedicated cash source long-term.  I think we may see congestion pricing at some point.  Simply too many cars on the roads.

I agree and plus with the (MTA) having a bad grade already.. Bonds are out of the question.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Could've sworn they had somewhere. Maybe it was SILive and their bad reporting again...

The cuts were noted in the July Financial Plan, which is crucially a budget proposal. The final plan doesn't go into effect until November -- that's why people refer to the budget as the "November Plan." 

5 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

de ja vu all over again.. Back to the 2010 cuts and then some more..

Just when you think they would have their act together... SMDH.

Service cuts are a very temporary solution to a structural problem. As long as the MTA continues to rely on borrowing/PAYGO/weird pension games to fund things, you can count on a real scale financial crisis taking place. There needs to be a drawdown of debt and a complete examination of both funding mechanisms and of the spending itself -- I daresay there are many wasteful practices on the expenditure side. 

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12 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

I agree and plus with the (MTA) having a bad grade already.. Bonds are out of the question.

Well they are technically broke.  That is true.  The problem is they've been borrowing for so long that going forward they'll be paying more to borrow, thus putting them further in a hole and forcing them to either keep jacking up the fares and tolls and take even more aggressive measures to balance their budget.  I would compare it to someone who has bad credit... You pay more and more to borrow money, thus putting more financial strain on yourself.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 minute ago, RR503 said:

The cuts were noted in the July Financial Plan, which is crucially a budget proposal. The final plan doesn't go into effect until November -- that's why people refer to the budget as the "November Plan." 

Service cuts are a very temporary solution to a structural problem. As long as the MTA continues to rely on borrowing/PAYGO/weird pension games to fund things, you can count on a real scale financial crisis taking place. There needs to be a drawdown of debt and a complete examination of both funding mechanisms and of the spending itself -- I daresay there are many wasteful practices on the expenditure side. 

They seem to have so many damn presidents that I can't keep up. Some President was on the news today and I was thinking who in the hell is this guy who I'm sure earns well over $200,000 a year?  Just way too bloated.  Instead of cutting the salaries of these guys, they'd rather cut service, cut back on cleaning and cut back on the basics. I know what their argument is and it's partially true. If we want talented management, we have to compensate them for it and I'd say that's true, but Jesus Christ. How many presidents do you need?

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19 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They seem to have so many damn presidents that I can't keep up. Some President was on the news today and I was thinking who in the hell is this guy who I'm sure earns well over $200,000 a year?  Just way too bloated.  Instead of cutting the salaries of these guys, they'd rather cut service, cut back on cleaning and cut back on the basics. I know what their argument is and it's partially true. If we want talented management, we have to compensate them for it and I'd say that's true, but Jesus Christ. How many presidents do you need?

Exactly. The phrases "analysis paralysis" and "managerial blubber" are terms these folks need to get acquainted with. 

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Considering the loss of ridership overall, it boggles my mind how there is so much more crowding off-peak than there used to be on subways and buses. They are all packed all day and night. It is really unbelievable

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6 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Considering the loss of ridership overall, it boggles my mind how there is so much more crowding off-peak than there used to be on subways and buses. They are all packed all day and night. It is really unbelievable

The amount of people telecommuting and/or commuting to work/school during "unconventional" hours (i.e., outside of the infamous 9-to-5) in this era has skyrocketed.... This explains (some) of the losses in ridership, as well as the influx of people you see on the trains/buses around, say, 10am-2pm or so.... Of course, the MTA hasn't quite gotten the memo yet & still supplies service as if it's only stragglers & tourists riding during said hours.....

Edited by B35 via Church
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6 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Considering the loss of ridership overall, it boggles my mind how there is so much more crowding off-peak than there used to be on subways and buses. They are all packed all day and night. It is really unbelievable

 

8 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

The amount of people telecommuting and/or commuting to work/school during "unconventional" hours (i.e., outside of the infamous 9-to-5) in this era has skyrocketed.... This explains (some) of the losses in ridership, as well as the influx of people you see on the trains/buses around, say, 10am-2pm or so.... Of course, the MTA hasn't quite gotten the memo yet & still supplies service as if it's only stragglers & tourists riding during said hours.....

IIRC, off peak ridership started surging the moment they introduced the unlimited Metrocards, because people didn't have to budget for all their rides anymore.

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2 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

IIRC, off peak ridership started surging the moment they introduced the unlimited Metrocards, because people didn't have to budget for all their rides anymore.

Sure, compared to what off peak usage used to be, before the fact (20+ years ago)....

You're pointing out when it started (you're right with that btw)..... However, I'm (and I assume Qm1to6th is also) more talking about much more current/recent trends... Surely you don't believe that off peak ridership in today's time, remotely resembles that of around the time the Unlimited's came out?

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On 10/11/2018 at 5:39 PM, Lil 57 said:

IMO, if the cut the ferry buses to once an hour over night, they should tell people on the ferry schedule, which buses are connecting. You don't wanna get to St. George and realize that you have 30+ minutes until your connection comes. They should have buses match every ferry. With buses connect every other ferry, if you don't catch the right ferry, you're be forced to pay for a cab if you want to get home as quickly as possible.

What they should at least do is coordinate it so for example, for one boat, you have an S40 & S48, and for the other boat, you have an S46 (And maybe the same with the S51, S74, and S78). So at least those willing to walk further can do so without waiting the full half hour.

Maybe they'll interline some trips (because under the old schedule, 60 minute service required 2 buses, but 30 minute service required 3 buses, so half the service doesn't equal half the cost)

On 10/11/2018 at 5:49 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah, but they cut something.  What specifically escapes me at the moment.

Maybe some of those double buses that used to meet some of the ferries (which to be fair, date back to a time when they were necessary because the ferry ran once an hour and dumped crowds of people onto the buses). It definitely wasn't the half-hourly overnight service.

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3 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

What they should at least do is coordinate it so for example, for one boat, you have an S40 & S48, and for the other boat, you have an S46 (And maybe the same with the S51, S74, and S78). So at least those willing to walk further can do so without waiting the full half hour.

Maybe they'll interline some trips (because under the old schedule, 60 minute service required 2 buses, but 30 minute service required 3 buses, so half the service doesn't equal half the cost)

The North shore might work. But people in areas like Rossville and Arden Heights which has nothing but the S74 overnight, same goes with some parts of Victory Blvd with the S62 and parts of the S78. 

Is the SIR still going to run every 30 minutes overnight?

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5 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

The North shore might work. But people in areas like Rossville and Arden Heights which has nothing but the S74 overnight, same goes with some parts of Victory Blvd with the S62 and parts of the S78. 

Is the SIR still going to run every 30 minutes overnight?

Still better than nothing.  At least some people get service. And yeah, that's a good question, because given the low ridership of the SIR (does it run 2 cars overnight or 4?) it seems weird they would keep that and cut the buses.

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13 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Still better than nothing.  At least some people get service. And yeah, that's a good question, because given the low ridership of the SIR (does it run 2 cars overnight or 4?) it seems weird they would keep that and cut the buses.

Mabye a good idea is to use some of the buses that they cut and have the S59 run hourly overnight. It would only require 3 more buses in each direction (6 trips total) and they could remove the three Weekday and the one Saturday and Sunday early morning short turns from the SI Mall to Hylan Blvd to reduce the number of extra trips needed. So with this plan, 3 more Weekday trips and 5 more weekend trips would need to be added to the S59 in order to run 24/7 service on that route. I'm surprised how Richmond Ave, a major SI corridor is a transit desert late nights.

Edited by Lil 57

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