Amidst Financial Crisis, MTA Urges Swift Passage of the American Rescue Plan and Calls on Congress to Deliver $8 Billion in Federal Relief

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today urged Congress to quickly pass the American Rescue Plan, including delivering an additional $8 billion in federal relief for the agency amidst its ongoing financial crisis. The MTA continues to face a cumulative deficit of $8 billion through 2024 and is urgently requesting additional Federal assistance to power the region’s recovery from the pandemic in the years to come. To continue to provide as much subway, bus and commuter rail service as possible to customers, the MTA Board today approved a toll increase on MTA Bridges and Tunnels while preserving the resident discount programs.

As a result of recent modest financial gains, the MTA will avoid the “worst case” service reductions that had been eliminated in 2021 but had been discussed as a possibility for 2022, as well as any immediate associated layoffs. Drastic service reductions remain on the table, however, for 2023 and 2024 without future federal aid to support the remaining $8 billion deficit. This short-term stability was a result of $2.9 billion in deficit financing through the Federal Municipal Liquidity Facility, improved re-estimates in dedicated taxes and fees as well as the receipt of $4 billion in Federal aid through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) that was passed by Congress in December.

Compared with the 2021 Budget and 2021-2024 Financial Plan that was announced in November and adopted by the MTA Board in December, the MTA anticipates $1.15 billion in additional resources. This improvement is the result of four major factors that are partially offset by three significant setbacks. The improvements are an anticipated additional $550 million in subsidies from the State of New York, an unused 2020 general reserve of $170 million, an end-of-year cash balance from 2020 that was $514 million more than had been anticipated, an increase of $268 million in other subsidies, and debt service costs reduced by $66 million. These are offset by a remaining federal need of $500 million from the CRRSAA, MTA savings achievements that are $92 million lower than had been estimated, and a delay in the 2021 fare/toll increases reducing revenue by $32 million.

The MTA predicts a gradual return to normal ridership levels, with increases in 2021 and 2022 leading to a “new normal” ridership that stabilizes in 2023 and 2024 between 80% and 92% of pre-pandemic levels.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: February 18, 2021