MTA in dire need of funding, according to new audit

New York City subway ridership remains stubbornly below pre-pandemic levels, and it's keeping the MTA’s budget in the red. 

The New York State Comptroller has a new audit detailing the MTA’s gloomy financial outlook. It shows the nation's largest transit agency is on track to come up short billions of dollars unless things drastically change. 

"One thing we found is that given the size of those gaps and what the agency is facing, there's a very strong likelihood that it'll have to find new sources of funding, or we're going to see severe cuts in terms of services that people are experiencing," said Rahul Jain, the New York State Deputy Comptroller.  

So how will the MTA come up with more money? Cracking down on fare evaders is one idea from MTA board member Andrew Albert. 

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!  |  Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters

"We really do need overall federal operating assistance, and it would be to the benefit of  everybody, because the MTA is the economic engine that moves this region, and this region is the economic engine which moves the country." 

Advocates for public transit riders believe more people would ride subways and buses if the service was better with trains and buses running more frequently. 

"The subway system needs to be more competitive with other ways of getting around to convince people to get out of their neighborhood and to use public transit when they do and that's why riders want more frequent service," said Danny Pearlstein, the policy and communications director for Riders Alliance. 

Some look to congestion pricing to solve the MTA’s  financial problems but it still may not generate enough money for now raising fares even higher is  not being discussed yet.  So far all sides agree that would further drive riders away.