Half of MTA Subway Action Plan funding to be paid by NYC, de Blasio spokesman says

Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed the city will pay for half of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Subway Action Plan, his spokesman said Saturday.

After months of staunch opposition, the mayor has agreed to contribute $418 million toward the $836 million plan that the state-controlled authority had unveiled last summer. The funding was included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $168.3 billion state budget announced Friday night, through which the governor had pressured the city for the funds.

The mayor had previously argued that the authority hadn’t spent its money wisely and that city commuters already contribute about 70 percent of the authority’s revenue.

One of the mayor’s appointees to the MTA board has questioned whether the action plan, which relies heavily on the hiring of nearly 3,000 new transit workers, has been effective at improving service since the MTA began rolling out elements of the strategy in recent months.

“When it comes to the subways, Mayor de Blasio has always demanded two things: significant movement by the state toward a real plan, and a dedicated lockbox so city riders’ money goes toward fixing city subways,” said the mayor’s spokesman, Eric Phillips, in a statement. “This budget appears to respond to the Mayor’s demands on behalf of the city’s straphangers. There are no excuses left for the Governor to hide behind. He must do his job and fix the subways.”

Cuomo had agreed early on, at the time of the plan’s announcement in July, to fund its other half.

“We finally got the city to pay half the Subway Action Plan,” Cuomo said Saturday, at an Easter event at the Executive Mansion in Albany. “Hurray, which means the straphangers who have been suffering with the delays, we’ll now be able to accelerate that construction because we haven’t had full funding. With congestion pricing we have a long-term funding plan.”

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