MTA vs. New Jersey: Who Runs Out of Money First?

Images: Mike Knell/Flickr, Sean_Marshall/Flickr

We’ve known for some time that New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is running on empty and will become completely insolvent on July 1 — just 100 days from now. But it turns out the Garden State is not alone in its fiscal hard times. Gothamist reports:

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast told reporters on Wednesday that unless the State budget is finalized with concrete funding for the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan, his authority will run out of money for new capital projects by June 30th.

“June 30th of this year—that’s when we run out of money,” Prendergast told reporters after an MTA board meeting Wednesday afternoon. To clarify, the dusty coffers would stall new MTA projects outlined in the 2015-19 capital plan. Projects that have already been approved, but have yet to break ground, would still be able to move forward.

Earlier this month we expressed concern over the ambiguity in Governor Cuomo’s MTA funding plan. It’s clear now that this worry wasn’t without reason.

4 Comments on "MTA vs. New Jersey: Who Runs Out of Money First?"

  1. Clark Morris | March 25, 2016 at 3:07 pm |

    Maybe a larger percentage of the transit cost should be paid by the rider. What percentage of the total cost does the automobile user pay. Phrased another way, what percentage of the total cost is fuel, insurance, fuel excise taxes assumed to be for roads and highways, maintenance and amortization of vehicle acquisition?

  2. Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. | March 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm |

    Let’s be realistic and serious – The MTA 2015-2019 Capital Plan was not approved by the Capital Program Review Board for the following reasons, in which the MTA still needs $7.3B for their program that was unfunded: 1) The MOVE NY Fair Tolling Plan and other forms of congestion pricing in NYC are out of the question because many elected officials and their constituents in the outer boroughs are firmly opposed these, due to the fact that some people have no other transportation options except driving a motorizedvehicle point a to point b and they are the part of the working class; 2) The need for increased taxes in the MTA region are out of the question because both Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Republican Led State Senate are firmly opposed these; 3) The need for kicking the can down the road or playing political football by putting is now out of the question because remember, by June 30 of this year, the MTA are running out of their own money for not only this capital plan, but for billions upon billions of dollars in deferred maintenance via the state of good repair; 4) Borrow the $7.3B via bonds, which could lead to 7.3% fare and toll hikes on the top of the biennial 4% fare and toll hikes for bridges, tunnels, subways, buses and commuter rail; 5) A major dispute between Upstate New York, where they needed $22B for road and bridge maintainence, and Downstate New York, where they need $7.3B for mass transit maintainence; and 6) It is not only either a local, city, or state issue, but also a national issue – look at what’s going on in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. (with the Metro once was shutting down for a day), Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco (with BART was suffering major delays), and Los Angeles, where dozens upon billions of dollars in deferred maintenance are needed to be funded. Disclaimer: I am a Riders Alliance Member who is with many of my brethren during the MTA Board Meeting on that day. Note: Before you criticize me, take yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: Is NYC will have a next fiscal crisis because of this? And don’t mention about fare evasion by the riders or the taxpayers who are footed the bill for this: That is the least of our problems. The biggest problem is when the money runs out for both the MTA and NJT, a fiscal crises will be looming in both New Jersey and New Jersey because of this situation like this. Then who will blame for this? Both governors. And who will be paying for all of this assuming that this is debt service and borrowing bonds? My millennial generation. Can the regional economy will suffer? It is a dire possibly.

  3. Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. | March 26, 2016 at 11:53 am |

    Let’s be realistic and serious – The MTA 2015-2019 Capital Plan was not approved by the Capital Program Review Board for one the following reasons, in which the MTA still needs $7.3B for their program that was unfunded: The MOVE NY Fair Tolling Plan and other forms of congestion pricing in NYC are out of the question because many elected officials and their constituents in the outer boroughs are firmly opposed these, due to the fact that some people have no other transportation options except driving a motorized vehicle point a to point b and they are the part of the working class. Disclaimer: I am a Riders Alliance Member who is with many of my brethren during the MTA Board Meeting on that day. Note: Before you criticize me, take yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: Is NYC will have a next fiscal crisis because of this? And don’t mention about fare evasion by the riders or the taxpayers who are footed the bill for this: That is the least of our problems. In terms of the MOVE NY Plan, I know that there is a likelihood that it will pass through the Republican Led State Senate and the Governor in the short term. Unless there is a major domino effect: 1) The deadline for finding a reasonable, source of general funding for the MTA 2015-2019 Capital Plan is due on April 1, where the state budget is due; 2) The MTA Chairman and CEO had warned that the MTA will be running out of money for capital projects after June 30 of this year, so kicking the can down the road is out of the question realistically; 3) If this happens, then the subway, bus and commuter rail systems in the MTA region will be deteriorating to the gory days of the 1970s and the 1980s; 4) The fiscal crisis will be starting to loom, which could result in the decline in the NYC economy; 5) Although the most recent U.S. Census had said that there are over 8.6 million people living in NYC, I will assume that some people will be moving out to the suburbs or in another state; 6) Who is the blame for all of this? Governor Andrew Cuomo because he make all the final decisions towards the MTA; 7) Who will pay for all of this despite that there is tens of billions of dollars in deferred maintenance? My millennial generation as well future generations, since I am a 24 year old recent college graduate. This is the dire reality we are facing right now and realistically: The MOVE NY plan will have a chance to go through at the most perfect timing possible. BTW, you can check out the video made by the same transit advocacy group that I am a member of, the Riders Alliance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-wa7swrx2c. Or go to Twitter using #CuomosMTA. To the commenters of this blog, after watching this video, then look at the mirror and ask yourself: Is this the time that we fighting for all citizens?

  4. Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. | March 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm |

    Clark, according to the recent transit profile on the National Teansit Database: Between 45-50% of the operating costs was covered by fares, with between 70-75% for the NYC Subway and about 30-35% for NYC Buses. In addition, between 10-15% of the operating costs was covered by tolls. Assuming that there is a big fare and toll increases and the the reduction of the tax revenues to cover the operating costs, how would the overall regional economy will be reacted to tha? This also happens to the dysfunctional Port Authority and the struggling New Jersey Transit, despite an overall increase in usage of these service. By the end of the day, tens of billions of dollars in deferred maintenance of all of the mass transit systems across the tri-state area needs to be fully funded or the overall economy will go under. BTW Clark, a distanced-based or a zone-based fare-paying system for the NYC Subway is our of the question because NYC is socioeconomically and geographically unique by having a lot of neighborhoods that have a lot of low income citizens, with poverty is rampant outside of the Manhattan’s Central Business District such as Southeastern Queens, Eastern Brooklyn, Northeastern Bronx, South Bronx, and all neighborhoods that have public housing projects that are owned and operated by NYCHA.

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