The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced May 3 that New York State’s $229 billion FY 2024 Budget will save the agency from “looming fiscal cliff” through adjusted payroll mobility tax and increased contributions from New York City.
The Budget, which was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, includes “meaningful and significant changes to how we support public transit across New York and make our transportation system safer and more reliable,” as well as provide the MTA with “a stable long-term financial plan, as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the governor stated in a release.
According to MTA, the Budget includes:
- Implementing more than $400 million in MTA operating efficiencies to reduce expenses and improve service to customers.
- Increasing the top rate of the Payroll Mobility Tax (PMT) for the largest businesses in New York City, generating an additional $1.1 billion annually.
- Increasing New York City’s share of funding for paratransit services through 2025, generating nearly $165 million annually.
- $300 million in one-time State aid to address the extraordinary impact of the pandemic on MTA operating revenues.
- $35 million in investment to improve subway service on weekday middays, weekends and weeknights.
- $65 million to reduce the proposed fare increase on the MTA from 5.5% to 4%.
- $35 million in safety investments to protect riders.
- Dedicating $1.5 billion in licensing fees if three downstate casino licenses are awarded, and a share of an estimated $231 to $413 million in incremental annual tax revenue from the casinos for MTA operations.
- $15 million to fund a pilot program providing five fare-free bus routes in New York City.
Additionally, Gov. Hochul says she will “take action” to protect riders by expanding the New York City Automatic Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) program to cover additional violations that impede busways. This will improve bus service for riders and reduce the likelihood of accidents.
The FY 2024 Budget also includes a contribution to expand public transit access and affordability statewide while improving public safety on trains, buses, and subways, across the state. This includes:
- $9.4 billion in mass transit operating support, including $829 million in operating support for non-MTA transit systems.
- $1.3 billion for a commuter-first Penn Station, the Western Hemisphere’s busiest transit hub.
- $20 million for bus electrification for non-MTA transit systems, and $20 million to rehabilitate NFTA’s light rail.
The FY 2024 Budget also continues to deliver on the commitments Gov. Hochul made in establishing a five-year transportation capital program last year. This includes:
- Nearly $7.1 billion for the second year of a record $32.9 billion, five-year DOT Capital Plan to improve highways, bridges, rail, aviation infrastructure, non-MTA transit, and DOT facilities including $1.3 billion for local roads and bridges.
- An additional $100 million for local programs, including $60 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and $40 million for state touring routes.
“From the get-go, Gov. Hochul understood that New York could not function without mass transit, and this budget reflects that,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Riders can now have confidence in safe, reliable, and frequent service on subways, buses, commuter railroads, and paratransit. We are incredibly grateful to the governor and legislature for assuring the MTA’s long-term financial stability for all New Yorkers.”
“The MTA is the lifeblood of New York City, and we have made tremendous progress in returning ridership to pre-pandemic levels,” Gov. Hochul said. “With this Budget, the MTA will have the resources it needs to keep serving New Yorkers for years to come. I applaud Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for this collaborative process that will provide stability to our transit systems and make clear that New Yorkers, regardless of their ZIP code, deserve access to reliable transit.”