MTA budget won't hike fares until 2011
The MTA released a $12 billion preliminary 2010 budget yesterday that is devoid of a fare hike or major service reductions for next year, but officials cautioned that many factors could change the plans.
“We’re balanced on a head of a pin, and lots of things could throw this off,” said Dale Hemmerdinger, the outgoing MTA board chair.
A nearly $2.3 billion state rescue plan spared straphangers from massive service cuts and a 23 percent fare hike this year. However, the MTA is still projecting a deficit of $350 million beginning in 2012, and unforeseen labor costs, fuel price spikes or an ongoing financial downturn could throw its finances into a tailspin, officials said.
Also, fare increases of 7.5 percent for both 2011 and 2013 will go forward as previously planned.
In order to balance the 2010 budget, the agency provided more details yesterday on some items it is cutting for next year, including:
- Elimination of a program to provide faster medical attention to sick customers at four stations in Manhattan and two in Queens
- Increasing the amount time before workers overhaul worn buses or inspect old subway cars
- Forgoing extra painting for stations