Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New York MTA releases 2010 preliminary budget

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday released both its 2010 Preliminary Budget and proposed Four-Year Financial Plan for 2010-2013. The MTA Board will not consider a final budget until December, but MTA says the release allows for an extended period of public discussion about the MTA's finances and budget proposals.

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The 2010 budget, as released, includes no service cuts or fare increases beyond those already planned, MTA said, adding that projected cash balances were $29 million in 2009, $39 million in 2010, and $1 million in 2011. “Manageable” deficits are projected for 2012 and 2013. MTA also cited “significant” spending restraints contributing to save $64 million in 2010. These savings grow to $279 million by 2013.

MTA Board Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger said: "We are grateful to Governor Paterson and the Legislature for their strong commitment to the transit system during this current economic downturn. Meeting the MTA's fiduciary responsibilities while sparing our customers from the drastic and painful measures proposed earlier this year will help us keep to our mission of providing safe, dependable, and affordable public transportation."

MTA Interim Executive Director and CEO Helena E. Williams said: "Today's presentation kicks off six months of public discussion before a final budget is approved in December. Engaging in a productive dialogue with our customers and stakeholders before a final plan is presented to the board assures maximum transparency throughout the entire process."

The financial plan anticipates a continued falloff in real estate tax revenue and ridership due to recession, also includes the 2009 Mid-Year Forecast which reflects changes from the February 2009 plan resulting from the passage of legislation to stabilize the MTA's short-term finances. As discussed with state legislative leaders in Albany, the plan includes a 7.5% fare increase in both 2011 and 2013.

More information on the plan is available online at www.mta.info. MTA said the complete plan will be online “in the coming days.”