Watchdog testimony for MTA State Budget hearing: will Albany honor $7.3B pledge and wake-up to MTA budget meltdown?

Reinvent Albany submitted the following written comments to the State Legislature for its Joint Budget Hearing on the Transportation components of the Executive Budget. The testimony highlights the extremely bad financial state of the MTA and asks legislators to (1) honor the state’s pledge to provide $7.3 billion to the MTA for its 2015-2019 capital plan, (2) to pass congestion pricing and (3) hold specific oversight hearings on MTA finances. There is a very real risk the MTA will enter a “death spiral” of service cuts and revenue loss unless the legislature and governor find tens of billions in new funding in addition to congestion pricing.

To date, the MTA has received less than $1 billion in state assistance for both its 2010-2014 and 2015-2019 Capital Plans, according to the MTA’s latest documents. In contrast, New York City has provided $1.275 billion of the $3 billion it has committed.

In total, the MTA has only received $7 billion of the $33 billion in planned spending for the 2015-2019 capital plan, which is now in its last year.

The full testimony is provided below.