Service cuts of 40 percent. Longer waits for trains and buses. Fare increases. More than 7,200 employees from Harlem to Hollis permanently cut.
MTA officials on Wednesday said these dire predictions will come to pass without $12 billion in federal aid. The money will help stanch losses from the coronavirus pandemic and avert cuts that will exact a decades-long toll on millions of New York City dwellers and others who depend on the transit system.
Times are grim, said MTA Chairman Patrick Foye.
“This is by far the most difficult challenge the MTA has ever faced,” he said.
Foye and other MTA brass held the meeting as they rolled a campaign — #SaveTransit — designed to raise awareness to the transit agency’s plight.
Train and bus service could disappear, the bigwigs and advertisements stressed.
MTA is losing roughly $200 million in revenue a week from during the coronavirus crisis, Foye said. The financial calamity is akin to the Great Depression, but the comparison isn’t exact, he said.
It’s worse, he said.
“You may be shocked to know the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by federal inaction, has exacted a far greater toll on the MTA’s predecessors, ridership and revenues than the Great Depression that began with the October 1929 stock market crash,” he said.
The $12 billion hole can be filled through “draconian” cuts that will affect the New York City area for decades, Foye said.
Or Congress, specifically the U.S. Senate, can stop up, he said.
Watch the MTA board meeting here:
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