NEW YORK (PIX11) — September is usually a busy month for the New York City transit system.

While ridership remains about 40% below pre-pandemic levels, some days have been trending upwards. However, fares fund the operation of the system, and the financial outlook remains bleak.

Former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch spoke at the September meeting of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. He believes the legislature and governor will have to come up with a long-term funding for the MTA. Ravitch doesn’t think congestion pricing is the only solution.

“We have to start this year. We should look at the current fiscal situation over a five-year period, not just over this year or next year. If we do that, you’ll see that we need state aid in this next session of the legislature,” Ravitch said.

Ravitch said he is optimistic about the recovery and he believes people will return to the city and the system.

Ravitch served as MTA chairman from 1979 to 1983 and helped shape the capital improvement plans for decades.