NEW YORK — New York commuters no longer need to worry about potentially imminent service cuts to the subway, Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North Railroad, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday.
Before heading to Washington to attend a bill-signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by President Joe Biden, Hochul said funds from the legislation would be used to help the MTA.
“I’m proud to announce that there will be no MTA fare hikes this year, and that service cuts are off the table for 2023-24,” she said. “In order to bring people back and fully recover from COVID, we need robust transit service.”
Fare increases by the continually cash-strapped MTA have happened every other year since 2009. However, the agency’s finance committee chair Larry Schwartz said in July the MTA would push back a planned MTA fare hike for 2021 until at least 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But while New Yorkers were spared from another fare hike, the threat of cuts to service on subways, railroads and buses to offset costs still loomed over commuters until Monday.
Biden was expected to sign the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday afternoon during a bipartisan ceremony on the White House lawn.
In order to achieve a bipartisan deal, the president had to cut back his initial ambition to spend $2.3 trillion on infrastructure by more than half.
The bill that becomes law on Monday in reality includes about $550 billion in new spending over 10 years, since some of the expenditures in the package were already planned.
Yet the administration still views the bill as a national project with a broad range of investments and the potential ways to improve people’s lives with clean drinking water and high-speed internet.