Letter to the Editor: Solution to $12 billion shortfall

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Dear Editor,

There are other options which MTA Chairman Pat Foye should consider regarding a solution to the $12 billion shortfall, besides asking Washington for a second CARE COVID-19 in the same amount.

Within the 1953 master agreement between NYC and NYC Transit are escape clauses. NYC has the legal right to take back at any time control of its assets. This includes the subway and bus system.

In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets under a master lease and operating agreement to the newly created NYC Transit Authority.

NYC owns the NYC Transit subway and bus system. MTA is the management company hired to run it. Why has the MTA not asked City Hall, their boss rather than Washington for a second $12 billion bailout to avoid a 40% threatened reduction to bus and subway service?

Ditto for Albany to avoid a 50% cut to Metro North service. Albany provides the MTA significant annual funding under the Statewide Transportation Operating Assistance (STOA) program. Why hasn’t the MTA asked Governor Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Steward Cousins, State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to increase their contribution?

Washington via Federal Transit Administration grants, riders via farebox and motorists via tolls continue to pay their fair share.

Uncle Sam did even more by providing $3.9 billion under the first CARE COVID-19 aid package. Taxpayers and business contribute via property transfer and mortgage recording taxes in NYC, fees for licenses, motor vehicle registration and auto rentals, for-hire vehicle surcharges applies to taxi and ride hailing apps south of 96th Street in Manhattan and the Petroleum Business tax on petroleum businesses operating in New York State.

Actions speak louder than words. It is time for City Hall and Albany to pay their respective fair shares as well.

Larry Pennerp

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