MTA Financial Plan Includes Effective Cost-Cutting Measures

MTA cost-cutting measures have been more effective than anticipated. As outlined in the Final Proposed 2014 Budget and Four-Year Financial Plan, the growth of agency expenses in 2014 will be limited to 1.96% which is in line with the rate of inflation.
The MTA’s improved cost containment will allow the MTA to increase savings goals by $200 million per year by 2017 from initiatives such as further administrative consolidations, workers compensation efficiencies, energy efficiencies and additional efficiencies in procurement and inventory control. 
“We try to keep costs down in order to minimize the financial burden on our customers, and as this financial plan shows, we are succeeding in that effort,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Our customers want value, which is quality and quantity of service, and that service has to be reliable and safe. Through this financial plan, that’s what we work to provide.”
The MTA expects that the combination of increased cost cutting, lower expenses and higher operating revenues will allow the agency to reduce by almost half the previously projected fare and toll increases scheduled for 2015 and 2017. The previously projected increase of 7.5% would be dropped to yield an increase of 4%.
In addition, $18 million in funding for service investments proposed last July, $11.5 million in increased service to meet loading and headway guidelines, and $11 million in additional customer enhancements. Service improvements include:
  • Extending the M from Myrtle Avenue to Delancey Street -Essex Street on Weekends
  • Extending Bx24 to Hutchinson Metro Center from Westchester Square
  • Adding Q77 service on Sundays
  • Restoring Q31 on Weekends
  • Restructuring Staten Island express bus service to add a new “super express” service via the Lincoln Tunnel to Midtown
  • Restoring half-hourly LIRR weekend service on the Port Washington Branch and to creating half-hourly service to Ronkonkoma during high-volume weekend travel periods
  • Expanding LIRR service to Greenport through Thanksgiving weekend

The finances of the MTA are highly dependent on the health of the regional economy; despite an improved outlook, economic significant risks remain. The plan also assumes that labor agreements that are currently open will be settled with three years of net-zero wage growth.

Using information presented today, the MTA Board will vote in December on whether to adopt the Final 2014 Budget and Four-Year Financial Plan.