Fares, tolls, safety, service and contracts are hot topics as MTA reviews budget

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Every December, the MTA Board finalizes the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.

This year it’s a $13.5 billion document. It includes an anticipated 4 percent fare and toll hike. It includes some additional service enhancements. The full board approved the plan at the meeting.

Labor contracts are still being negotiated and Transport Workers Union Local 100 presented the MTA Board with a resolution declaring the members were ready to pursue “whatever actions are necessary” to fight a contract that includes “net zeros.”

“They have shown great patience throughout this process,” said TWU Local 100 President John Samuleson, “But their patience is beginning to wear thin.”

The MTA has asked for any wage increases to be offset by worker contributions to benefit programs and compromises in work rules.

MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast says the negotiations are ongoing and the agency wants to continue the process.