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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

New York MTA unveils final proposed FY2004 budget


New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently released its proposed fiscal-year $4.85 billion 2004 budget and four-year financial plan.

The budget maintains current fare and service levels through 2004, projects a $36.2 million surplus and assumes a $121.3 million increase in governmental funding that has not yet been approved

But MTA is projecting a $839 million deficit in FY2005; a $1.34 billion deficit in FY2006; and a $1.45 billion deficit in 2007. The shortfalls are expected because of rising debt service costs, increasing pension, health and welfare expenses, and depleting non-recurring resources.

MTA still plans to begin a new five-year capital plan in 2005. Officials are uncertain how much funding will be needed for the program since it’s still in initial development stages, but expect a portion to be funded through bonds.

During the next few months, MTA officials plan to identify cost-cutting and cost-containing measures, and seek additional federal, state and local funding for the operating budget and five-year capital plan.

Officials also plan to monitor reauthorization efforts for the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, which currently provides $800 million annually for MTA.