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MTA faces massive deficit

The MTA is staring down a $10 billion deficit in the short-term and is begging Congress for billions more after it burned through the last $4 billion it got from Washington. It’s now spending $200 million a week. The agency could cut service to the bone, hike fares dramatically, or slash labor costs, but faces the prospect of turning away priced-out riders who feel they can’t depend on the system.

  • Backdrop: The New York State D.M.V. processed 73,933 original car registrations in the five boroughs over June and July, a 18 percent increase over the 62,507 registrations from the same time last year.
  • Heard on the Street: Without a federal bailout, MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye told POLITICO the results could be catastrophic. But federal help is looking more unlikely everyday, as Senate Republicans resist calls to provide financial aid to states and cities — particularly blue ones like New York — and the debate about a larger economic relief package remains at a standstill.
  • Worth Noting: The extreme drops in ridership due to the pandemic took a toll on revenue, with the authority projecting a $9.2 billion loss in fare and toll revenues through 2021. The MTA is also contending with a potential $3.2 billion shortfall from dedicated city and state taxes. [Politico+NYTimes]

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