Program Planners Study on Federal Operating Assistance

  • NYCTA received 7.5% of operating budget from federal aid ($127mil of $1.7bil) versus 17.6% for LA [1]
    • Study by Program Planners Inc and Jack Bigel (yes, the one from union talks)
    • Reagan was proposing ending federal operating assistance for mass transit in 1985
    • Studied cities with 1000 or more revenue vehicles
      • LA, Philadephia, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco, NY
    • Federal operating assistance formula revised in 1978 to give weight to cities with greater than 750k people and rail systems
    • Federal operating assistance totaled $1.0939bil in 1980, 30.2% of government aid
      • State assistance was $820.4mil, local assistance was $1.7039bil
    • Ravitch says fares cover 55% of MTA's $2.5bil operating budget (all modes)
      • Local and state subsidies cover 37%
      • Local taxes, which have increases with lowering of federal assistance, are "much less progressive than the Federal income tax"
    • New York's fare was 75 cents at the time
  • Source: Peter Kihss, "CITY SAID TO TRAIL IN U.S. TRANSIT AID," The New York Times, June 6, 1982. link
  • Tags: bigel city-assistance federal-assistance mta ravitch report state-assistance

Fare increases from $1 to $1.15

  • Date: January 1, 1990
  • A 1987 agreement with the unions, Governor, and Legislature "provided for the $1.15 fare" [1]
    • Occurred while approving 1987 $8.5bil capital plan
    • Written primarily by Felix Rohatyn
  • Increase of 15% was to close $200mil budget defecit
  • There was a political retreat from a $1.25 fare
    • Some say due to public outcry, others say it was a political gimmick
  • Kiley said in July 1989 that more than a $1.15 fare may be necessary
    • Ridership had not increased, resulting in $15mil less revenue than expected
    • Corporate-tax revenues were down $15mil
    • Federal aid was $25mil less than expected
  • "Technically, the M.T.A. can approve fare increases without the agreement of lawmakers. The Legislature, however, controls the authority's huge capital plans, giving it strong influence." [2]
  • Source: "Kiley Says Fares Could Increase Beyond $1.15 Planned for 1990," The New York Times, June 1, 1989. link
  • Source: David E. Pitt, "A $1.15 Token Now Supported By Transit Staff," The New York Times, December 2, 1989. link
  • Source: Eric Schmitt, "Transit Lines Brace for Test Of $1.15 Fare," The New York Times, January 2, 1990. link
  • Source: "Turnstile Politics: Preparing for the $1.15 Token," The New York Times, December 3, 1989. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance kiley mta rohatyn

Fare increases from 75 cents to 90 cents

  • Date: January 2, 1984
  • Kiley defends increases to make up operating deficits
  • 1984 budget is $3.7bil
  • New fares and tolls expected to generate $270mil
  • Elderly and handicapped returned to half fare 24 hours a day
    • Had been half fare only outside of 7am and 9am
  • City Council President Carol Bellamy had several criticisms
    • Questioned whether $38mil reserve fund for track work was necessary
    • Thought some operating budget items should actually be capital budget items
    • Thought budget was too conservative in "failing to count on receiving certain Federal financing"
  • Board endorsed Koch's proposal to have MTA set up administrative board to prosecute fare evadors, rather than sending them to court, as was currently done
  • Source: Suzanne Daley, "M.T.A. RAISES FARES AND TOLLS BY 20% ACROSS THE BOARD," The New York Times, December 17, 1983. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance kiley mta

Fare increases from 35 cents to 50 cents

  • Interesting era for transit funding, with city in fiscal trouble and federal dollars for transit beginning: "In this city, so close to insolvency, little more can be expected in direct subsidy out of existing tax funds. But there is need for quick action on a new regional tax to underwrite mass transit, of the kind now under study by a state legislative committee. There is also need for more substantial financial support from Washington, now that the initial breakthrough has been made on Federal subsidy for both operating and capital costs."
  • MTA ran a defecit, "even operating with more than a half-billion dollars in Federal, state and municipal subsidy"
  • Article was a call for improved labor costs and work practices
  • Mentions an experiment train that would have lower energy usage
    • not sure which model this would be
  • Source: "Costlier Token," The New York Times, September 2, 1975. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance mta

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