New York is the country’s mass-transit leader — and if America is to continue to grow without condemning people to hours-long car commutes on ever-wider highways, the rest of the country will have to emulate its apartment-style living and dependence on trains and buses. Why, then, are New York’s supposedly progressive, environmentally minded leaders turning their backs on the subway system? Last week, the state-controlled MTA updated its budget for next year — perhaps explaining why Chairman Joe Lhota quit abruptly the week before. The $16.7 billion budget is a disaster. Even though we’re not in a recession, the MTA faces a $244 million budget deficit for next year, widening to $1.6 billion by 2022. So, fares are going up: The MTA proposed hiking the monthly MetroCard by 5 percent, to $127 from $121, and increasing the single ride from $2.75 to $3, starting next spring. There’s nothing wrong with fare hikes to keep up with inflation — except that doesn’t solve the problem. Even with riders’ extra money, the MTA still faces a half-billion-dollar deficit in just another year, growing to $1 billion annually by 2022. So what is the MTA doing? If it doesn’t get oodles more money… Read full this story
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