Service, fares and safety debated at monthly MTA board meeting

Transit

NEW YORK — After announcing on Monday that a fare increase would be deferred again, the MTA began the official procedure to set budgets for the coming years.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and officials want riders to feel encouraged to return to the system.

But the agency’s finances are facing major deficits. Potential increases are factored into budgets for mid-2022 or 2023 and 2025.

The agency could decide to delay those again if ridership continues to rise. Farebox revenue from swipes makes up about half of the operating budget.

In 2025, an estimated $2 billion budget deficit could reignite the need for service cuts and higher fare and toll increases.

For now, service cuts were also taken off the table, though there may be adjustments to fit service to current riding patterns.

There have been longer wait times in platforms. The agency says actual train travel is generally moving faster due to new improvements.

More crews should also be available by the spring when training classes are complete for hundreds of new transit workers.

Crime and safety remain top concerns for riders, as well.

Acting MTA Chairman & CEO Janno Lieber says he has spoken with NYPD Transit Bureau about adjusting deployments to busy platforms and trains.

Transport Workers Union Local 100 has called for more security on buses and transit officials say they will be working on that.

TWU Local 100 has spoken about incidents involving assaults against subway and bus crews.

The recent infrastructure bill includes funding for transit worker safety programs.

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