Massive layoffs, service cuts could hit MTA in 2021

MTA Chairman Pat Foye says that the MTA has no choice but to make massive cuts if the federal government does not come through with $12B in stimulus money to help the beleaguered transportation agency.

“We’d have to cut service on subways and buses up to 40 percent, up to 50 percent on the commuter rails and lay thousands of people off,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye said.

Roughly 8,000 people would be laid off if the cuts go into effect.

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated public transportation in New York City, with a decline in ridership on subways and buses and commuter rails larger than during the Great Depression.

If the cuts are approved by the MTA Board at its meeting shortly before Thanksgiving, they would take effect at some point during the first quarter of 2021. 

Foye says the cuts would devastate the local economy, in large part because people would not be able to go to work.

“The hit to the New York regional economy would be $100B a year starting in 2021 and the elimination of about 350,000 jobs in the entire region around New York City, about 300,000 of those jobs in New York City itself,” Foye said. 

“If you are missing 70 percent of your fares, that leaves an enormous multi-billion dollar deficit and this is going to go through not only this year and next year, but unfortunately we have no idea what subway ridership will look like even in 2022, 2023,” said Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute.

And on top of that, there could also be fare and toll increases of over four percent. 

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