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Subway Fares to Increase if De Blasio, Cuomo Don't Pony Up to MTA: DiNapoli

By Trevor Kapp | September 29, 2015 1:55pm
 The cost of a Metro Card could increase if the city and state don't contribute more to the MTA's Capital Funding Project.
The cost of a Metro Card could increase if the city and state don't contribute more to the MTA's Capital Funding Project.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

MIDTOWN — The city and state need to reach deeper into their pockets to prevent the MTA from jacking up fares and tolls even further, according to a new report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The MTA’s ability to limit future fare and toll hikes to just a 4 percent increase will depend on how much the city and state contribute to the MTA’s capital budget, the report says.

“If the MTA doesn’t get the funding it needs, the MTA will have to choose between cutting the size of the capital program or borrowing more, which could lead to less reliable service or higher fares and tolls,” DiNapoli said.

The MTA still faces a $9.8 billion funding gap, which the MTA has said can be bridged if the state increases its contribution to the program by $7.3 billion through 2019. The city would need to fork over $3.2 billion, which is $2.5 billion more than currently budgeted.

The MTA pointed the finger at Mayor Bill de Blasio, though.

“While Gov. Cuomo has committed an $8.3 billion investment from the state, this report says the city’s paltry $657 million contribution could force difficult choices such as delaying vital maintenance work or raising fares and tolls,” the MTA said in a statement.

“Facts are facts, and the facts in this report make clear it is long past time for the city to contribute its fair share to the MTA Capital Program."

The Mayor's Office blamed the state for the MTA's woes.

"The MTA is controlled and run by the State," mayoral spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. "While the state has underinvested for years — including at least $270 million raided from the MTA to go to Albany pet projects since 2011 alone — New York City has funded three-quarters of the MTA's operating budget and put in more than twice as much capital funds as the state."

The Governor's Office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Transit Workers Union President John Samuelsen also ripped the mayor for being stingy.

“When stations continue to fall apart, trains begin to derail and the Second Avenue subway project grinds to a halt, working New Yorkers will have Mayor de Blasio to blame,” he said.

Samuelsen’s remarks were the latest in a simmering feud between the union and City Hall.

On Monday, the TWU took out a full-page ad in the Daily News showing de Blasio in a graffiti-littered subway making a “peace sign” gesture with the headline, “Where are you taking us?”

De Blasio called the ad “pitiful” and “misleading.”