MANHATTAN — The cash-starved MTA is asking straphangers and the city to dig deep over the next few years with a series of planned fare hikes and a massive funding request for the Second Avenue subway project.
While fares are expected to stay the same through 2012, there will be 7.5 percent fare and toll hikes in 2013 and 2015, according to a financial plan presented to the MTA board Wednesday.
"By keeping our focus on making every dollar count, this financial plan brings stability back to the MTA's finances," said MTA Chairman Jay Walder in a statement.
"As a result, we're able to meet our commitments to avoid service cuts and fare increases next year. The savings also pave the way for a new funding strategy that will advance vital capital investments that protect the safety and reliability of our transportation network."
The MTA is also asking the city for $250 million more for the Second Avenue Subway line, an MTA spokesman said. That's in addition to the $300 million the city has already pledged for the agency's capital projects through 2014, according to agency documents.
But the MTA said it will run out of funds for their capital programs, including the new subway line and expansion of the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal once state bailout money runs out at the end of the year.
Apart from asking the city for more money, the MTA is also looking to save money through union concessions like having workers pay more for their health care, according to the presentation.
"We recognize that there's no appetite for new taxes in New York today, and that makes it all the more important that we find ways to make these investments as efficiently and effectively as possible," Walder said.
"At the same time, we continue to pursue innovative and pragmatic ways to move investments forward with our federal, state and local partners, because we can't afford to eliminate or defer any of these critical projects."