NEW YORK — The MTA had good news and bad news Thursday: amid a budget crisis, the agency avoided service cuts, but the MTA also needed to jack tolls for bridges and tunnels.
Major service reductions were left on the table for 2023 and 2024 if the MTA doesn’t get help from the federal government. The MTA only avoided service cuts in 2022 because of federal funding the agency received in December, MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said.
“But the pandemic is projected to continue to wreak havoc on the MTA’s finances for the next four years as ridership gradually rebuilds,” Foye said. “We continue to urgently request $8 billion in additional federal aid as part of the American Rescue Plan so we can serve as the economic engine leading New York’s recovery from this devastating pandemic.”
The MTA previously received funding help from the federal government. In March of 2020, the agency asked for $4 billion in aid. Then in May of 2020, the MTA asked for $3.9 billion more. At the end of August last year, Foye warned of severe problems if the agency didn’t receive receive $12 billion in additional federal aid.
An MTA budget passed for 2021 assumed $4.5 billion in federal aid.
The toll increases approved Thursday were set to take effect in April. They’reexpected to raise $62 million in 2021 and $116 million annually as of 2022. The increase will raise current tolls rates by an average of 7.08% to yield a 6% increase in revenue. Resident discount programs will be preserved.
The new rates are below: