RPA: NY Must Independently Raise Revenue for MTA Capital Plan

July 21, 2015

New York State must grant New York City the authority to independently raise revenue to fund an increase in the city contribution to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s five-year capital plan, Regional Plan Association said July20, in a letter to MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast.

The MTA has asked New York City to increase its contribution to the capital plan to $300 million per year plus $1 billion for the next phase of the Second Avenue subway.

RPA strongly supports the MTA’s proposed $32 billion 2015-2019 capital program and wants to see all parties agree to a stable funding formula. But the organization said it wouldn’t support increased contributions by the city unless the city can independently raise revenue to pay for the additional expenditure. In addition, RPA said, New York State must dedicate its own revenue from new or existing sources to fully fund the rest of the $32 billion capital plan. The MTA is a state-controlled public authority, and funding the MTA’s capital plan is primarily the state’s obligation. 

New York’s transit network is the engine of the metropolitan region’s $1.5 trillion economy. Yet the system is under strain as surging ridership outstrips available resources. Unless additional funding is identified, crucial upgrades to the transit network, improved service in communities lacking adequate transit, the continuation of the Second Avenue subway and the completion of East Side Access, new buses and the expansion of Metro-North in the eastern Bronx all would be jeopardized.

­­The task of funding the MTA requires leaders in Albany and New York City to work together toward a goal of maintaining our infrastructure and expanding our shared prosperity.