MTA Could Eliminate Funding to LI Buses: Report

From unlimited MetroCards to surcharges, the MTA looks for every last penny from riders

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:55 PM EDT
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The drastic measures being mulled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to close its estimated $400 million budget gap could include the elimination of funding for busses on Long Island,  a published report said today.

According to transit advocates and MTA sources, the MTA, as part of its preliminary 2011 budget, will demand that Nassau County and/or New York State come up with $40 million more to keep Long Island buses running, Newsday reports.

This could strand many of the 100,000-plus people on Long Island that take buses, Newsday reports.

The move comes as the MTA said it was also considering shaving off some of the "off peak" discounts on the LIRR and also might limit "unlimited" weekly and monthly Metrocards by putting caps on the number of rides.

Off-peak rides make up 30 percent of revenue at the LIRR and 27 percent of trips, officials said.

The final decision will be made next Monday at the MTA's board meeting, when the 2011 budget is due.  If the motion passes the MTA will hold several hearings before the changes take effect on January 1.

There's little doubt that fares won't go up again in January -- a hike speculated to be about 7 percent.  This means a monthly pass could cost about $100 a month, up from $89 today.

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