MTA is kicking the can down the road
by Larry Penner
Jun 01, 2016 | 9212 views | 1 1 comments | 190 190 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recent approval of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $27 billion Five-Year Capital Plan by the MTA Capital Program Review Board is nothing to be proud of. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to never give any specifics of how he will come up with $7.3 of the $8.3 billion promised to meet the shortfall in the capital plan. The same is true for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his promised $2.5 billion.   

The originally proposed $32 billion capital plan was rejected by the board.  In October 2015, a revised $28 billion capital plan was approved by the MTA Board. In April 2016, it was revised again to $27 billion.    

How can the MTA justify cutting billions of dollars in badly needed capital improvements and still provide the day-to-day services millions of New Yorkers count on? How many critical capital improvement projects will be postponed  into the next 2020-2024 Capital Plan?

That plan will first have to deal with $8 billion in unfunded carryover projects and programs going back 10 years. By waiting all these years, the costs will have gone up by another billion or two. 

Next, many other worthy capital projects will be competing for funding.  This could include phase two of the 2nd Avenue Subway Phase 2; building a Flushing intermodal bus terminal; reopening the Woodhaven Boulevard LIRR station; Brooklyn-Queens waterfront streetcar; and light rail between Glendale and Long Island City on the old Montauk LIRR branch, just to name a few. 

Cuomo, the State Legislature and de Blasio are just kicking the can down the road. When the bills become due, taxpayers will be stuck with Cuomo and de Blasio's tabs.  Why would the next governor or  mayor want to pay for any of Cuomo or de Blasio's bills?

Larry Penner is a resident of Great Neck.

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Pedro Valdez Rivera
June 03, 2016
That's right Larry: With almost $10.5B unaccounted for, one of things will happen: Either by higher taxes, or by higher fares and tolls thanks to borrowing bonds.