No subway fare hikes this year, governor says
NEW YORK - There will be no MTA fare hikes this year, according to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. And the service cuts for New York City's subways and buses that were planned for 2023 and 2024 are now off the table, she added.
"In order to bring people back and fully recover from COVID, we need robust transit service," Hochul said.
The governor said the money the state will receive from the federal infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law on Monday will provide enough funding to avoid the cuts. The legislation also budgets funding to extend the Second Avenue subway line up to 125th Street.
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"Those of you who are commuters on the MTA and have been anxious about how much this is going to go up, especially in this era of inflation, when it just seems when you're just trying to get your head above water and come out from under a long dark period of the pandemic," Hochul said, "and you might get a little bit more money in your paycheck, that the cost of living from gasoline to the cost of turkeys in another week and a half, this is really affecting people's ability to just put food on their table."
The MTA board had warned in July that due to a large deficit that it service cuts were needed in 2023 to help balance the budget.
Agency officials say New York City subway ridership is still off of pre-pandemic levels. The MTA warned this summer that it was dealing with system-wide service delays brought on by a staffing shortage.
Hochul became governor in August after Andrew Cuomo resigned in a sexual harassment scandal. She has already announced that she plans to run for a full term next year.
Hochul, a 63-year-old centrist and former member of Congress from the Buffalo area, is meanwhile working to quickly seize a political spotlight that Cuomo once dominated.