Today in "efficient government spending" news, the NY Times was caught celebrating the fact that President Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill will keep MTA fares stable and MTA service "robust".
But the punchline is that the NY Times admits that the fares will only stay stable for "at least six months", leaving the door wide open for hikes before the end of 2022.
All the result of "receiving billions of dollars" from the infrastructure bill. The Times also celebrated the fact that the bill would "defer drastic service cuts", as if service from the MTA could possibly get any worse.
Gov. Kathy Hochul commented prior to the bill being passed: “We anticipate there’ll be no fare hikes for the M.T.A.". She also said service cuts are "off the table".
And it isn't just the infrastructure package that is helping keep the same wonderful MTA service you've grown to know and love online for 180 more days, it's also a result of the nearly $11 billion that NY received as part of Covid relief packages.
Several paragraphs down in the article, the Times admits that the MTA is "facing a staggering financial crisis in the wake of the pandemic, which decimated ridership and the agency’s revenue".
Janno Lieber, acting chair and chief executive of the MTA, said: “Incentivizing people to come back means maintaining the pretty robust service that we have. And it also means that for the time being, we need to stand on the fare.”
The agency had previously planned a 4% increase in fares earlier this spring. The MTA usually raises fares every two years and the agency has been mum on whether or not they plan on raising fares between the 6 month and 2 year period.
Lieber said that the MTA was “taking fare hikes off the table for at least six months and maybe well beyond that.”
Maybe? Maybe we'll check back in six months.