MTA’s finances, congestion pricing under scrutiny from lawmakers

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Lawmakers in Albany briefed MTA officials on the state of its finances on Thursday as the agency tries to recover from the pandemic.

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The MTA has received or expected to receive approximately $15B in federal aid since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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However, customers are still dealing with reduced and disrupted service, while the MTA continues to struggle with potential service cuts and delays in capital improvement projects.

“We have enough money to last a few years until overcrowding affects pricing and then a revenue source can be developed,” said Jano Lieber, MTA’s acting president and chief executive officer.

The cost of congestion weighs heavily on drivers who enter Manhattan south of 60th Street. The toll is meant to discourage drivers while raising funds for the MTA, and is an estimated $52B in additional revenue.

While the state legislature approved the plan, all lawmakers say they are along for the ride.

At a virtual crowd pricing public hearing on Wednesday for residents of the northern suburbs, Rockland County Assemblyman Mike Lawler spoke out against it.

“Rockland County residents pay the second highest property tax in America, and therefore overcrowded pricing will seriously harm families who are traveling to NYC to work,” said assemblyman Michael Lawler.

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