The Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces tough challenges, including closing an “unprecedented” funding gap, even as a stronger economy has helped boost the agency, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a report released Tuesday.
“The MTA is in better financial condition thanks to its own efforts and a stronger economy,” DiNapoli said. “Over the coming months, the MTA will have to work closely with its funding partners to close the $15 billion gap in its capital program. Additional borrowing could increase pressure on fares and tolls, and while the MTA should look for opportunities for savings, deep cuts could affect the future reliability of the transit system and jeopardize expansion projects.”
The agency has not determined how to fund $15.2 billion of its five-year, $32.1 billion capital plan.
But there are troubles, too. New labor agreements are expected to cost the MTA $1.5 billion more than originally budgeted, DiNapoli found. Overtime costs in 2014 are expected to reach a record $801 million, $186 million more than four years earlier; the potential liability from personal injury and property damage claims against the MTA has nearly doubled over eight years, to $2.3 billion from $1.2 billion.
Find DiNapoli’s entire report here.