While Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continue to fight over who is responsible for the management and funding of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Washington continues to be a reliable financial partner.
Finding $38 billion over 10 years to fund NYC Transit head Andy Byford’s proposed recovery plan will be a four-way dance between riders who pay at the fare box along with funding from City Hall, Albany and Washington.
Federal support for transportation has remained consistent and growing over past decades. When a crisis occurred, be it Sept. 11, 2001 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Washington was there for us. Additional billions in assistance above and beyond yearly formula allocations from the Federal Transit Administration was provided. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided billions more.
Most federal transportation grants require a 20 percent hard-cash local share. In most cases, the Federal Transit Administration accepted toll credits instead of hard cash for the local share. This saved the MTA over $1 billion in the previous 2010-2014 five-year capital program. The same will be true with the 2015-2019 five-year capital program. Washington provided over $1.3 billion in 2017 Federal Transit Administration formula funding for the MTA, which helps pays for its capital program. There is $1.4 billion more in federal funding available in 2018.
The MTA can’t afford to wait for both City Hall and Albany to step up and help provide billions in additional funding. Neither can transit riders and taxpayers who are looking for accountability, efficient and timely completion for both capital projects and routine maintenance to assure more reliable and safe on-time service.
©2018 Community News Group
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