(Bloomberg) -- New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest U.S. mass-transit provider, is running on borrowed time, facing budget and revenue challenges as federal aid is set to tap out in 2025, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, said in a report Tuesday.
Ridership sank on the MTA’s New York City system of subways, buses and commuter rails during the coronavirus pandemic. Its subway system is still only carrying about half the number of weekday passengers it did in 2019.
While $14.5 billion of federal aid is covering the sharp drop in fare-box revenue collections, the MTA estimates it will deplete those funds in 2025. The risk of permanently lower ridership, damage from extreme weather and the end of federal assistance are challenges for the MTA that can turn into emergencies if not dealt with promptly, according to DiNapoli.
“Bringing riders back, protecting against extreme weather and maximizing new sources of revenue are all challenges the MTA needs to address before emergency federal funds dry up in 2025,” DiNapoli said in a statement Tuesday. “After that, the MTA faces enormous budget shortfalls that could harm the regional economy with no easy solutions.”
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