What to Know
- Top MTA brass was grilled Monday morning by members of the New York City Council on the agency’s proposed $50 billion capital plan
- The hearing also brought out protesters, who rallied outside City Hall, demanding the MTA spend it’s money “wisely"
- The protesters say priorities should be new subway signals, new train cars and elevator upgrades
Top MTA brass was grilled Monday morning by members of the New York City Council on the agency’s proposed $50 billion capital plan.
The hearing also brought out protesters, who rallied outside City Hall, demanding the MTA spend it’s money “wisely.”
The protesters say priorities should be new subway signals, new train cars and elevator upgrades. Critics say the money should not go to transit police in the heels of recent high-profile arrests of food vendors and fare-beaters.
Under oath Monday, MTA executives got a lecture from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson saying the city "barely" has any details on the capital plan.
Johnson said he is skeptical of the proposed budget.
“We are being asked, once again, top open up our wallet to give more than ever before,” he said. “After absolutely no input, we’re told to just hand over $3 billion.”
Commotion also broke out at the hearing when members of TWU Local 100 interrupted chairman and CEO Pat Foye’s opening statement, chanting “No contract. No peace.” They were ultimately asked to leave the chambers.
Subsequently, both Foye and Johnson thanked the men and women of TWU and condemned the recent string of attacks on MTA workers.
The capital plan the MTA board approved in September “is exactly what elected officials, city council members, I believe, advocates and most importantly, customers, have long demanded,” Foye said during his opening statement, saying the agency is dedicated to providing safe and reliable service as it embarks on a capital transformation.
Although the agency works to improve services day-to-day, “we also have our eyes on the future,” Foye said. “New Yorkers deserve a modern 21st century transportation network.”
He said the MTA’s “ambitious and historic” budget would allow the agency to do just that.
While one of the most controversial issues is the deficit and how the MTA plans to deal with with it, CFO Robert Foran said that since 2010 the MTA has been reducing cost significantly.
“By the time we finish the 2023 year, we would have reduced our annual recurring expenditure by more than $3 billion,” Foran said. “So since 2010 we would have cut out $3 billion of operating expenses.”
Foye stressed the same monetary figure, adding that the cut in operating expenses is “an extraordinary achievement.”
When council speaker asked the MTA how they can describe their finances as “dire” and yet justify allocating $250 million on 500 cops in a fare-beating crackdown.
The MTA has said the extra security is needed to stem the losses caused by farebeating. And that there’s money in the capital plan to pay for security, as well as new train cars and signals.