The AIT budget was adopted without cuts. Anyway for now

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AIT has approved a budget for 2021. Fortunately, there were no staff and service cuts predicted in many media outlets.

It would be more accurate to say – so far nothing has happened.

It was said that if MTA does not receive $ 4.5 billion from Washington this year, more than 9 thousand of the agency’s employees will be fired, and tariffs and tolls on public transport will be raised above the inflation rate. The budget drafters assumed that federal financial assistance, without which the agency’s continued existence would be unthinkable, would still be received. But if this does not happen, then, as ITA chairman Patrick Foy said, the budget will have to be urgently revised, and then the harsh measures that have been discussed for a long time will become an inevitable reality. Toll passages on bridges and in tunnels will rise in price, traffic in the subway and on bus routes will be reduced by 40%, and on suburban railway lines by 50%, the fare will rise on all types of transport.

Foy told reporters that the recent discussions in Washington, in which he happened to participate, gave him some optimism. The agency asked the federal administration for $ 12 billion to close the holes in the budget until 2024. $ 4.5 billion is the minimum that will make it possible to do without cuts and increases in fares in the coming year.

“We’re not bluffing. This is reality, ”said Patrick Foy.

Earlier it was said that the previous volume of passenger traffic will fully recover in 2023. Research conducted last month made adjustments: not in 2023, but in 2024, and not completely, but only by 90%.

The pandemic has forced transport workers to cut services. In May, Subway took an unprecedented step – canceling night trips, and this is in a city “that never sleeps.” And last week, the Long Island Railroad announced that train traffic, already 90 percent of its previous level, would be further cut to 75 to 80 percent.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 0 dated November 30 -0001

Newspaper headline:
The AIT budget was adopted without cuts. Anyway for now

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