MTA “shouldn’t ask for more money,” said US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

The chronically ailing MTA is a “black hole” that should be checked before it gets another penny from the government, US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said Monday.

Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) joined Rep. Mike Tannousis in plunging into an MTA fare increase proposal, urging fellow GOPs in Washington to “review” the MTA’s use of federal bailout funds.

“The MTA is a black hole. They keep asking for more money,” Malliotakis said at a news conference in Brooklyn.

“They really shouldn’t be asking for more money at this point. They got $15 billion,” she said. “When is it enough that the MTA can actually perform its services without turning our voters upside down again and again?”

A woman with long black hair speaks from behind a podium
The MTA received $15 billion from the Fed in 2020 and 2021.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Malliotakis — who voted for the $15 billion bailouts the MTA received in 2020 and 2021 — accused Gov. Kathy Hochul and her appointed MTA leadership of their promise to stave off fare increases “indefinitely.” , not to have complied.

Officials plan to increase fares by 11% through 2026 — from $2.75 to over $3 per subway trip — even if Hochul finds the $600 million needed to close the budget hole next year.

a picture of a subway car
Subway ridership is still at 60% pre-COVID – putting a hole in the MTA budget.
Christopher Sadowski

The MTA is full of “waste” and “abuse,” Malliotakis accused, citing the overstated, long-delayed East Side Access project as an example.

“Before you come and ask for more money, manage your own finances and your own agencies,” Malliotakis urged. “No federal taxpayer or state taxpayer should fund this incompetence.”

an OMNY ticket reader on a turnstile
Officials may increase fares above $3 to fill a budget gap.
Christopher Sadowski

The cumulative infusion of $15 billion in federal money in 2020 and 2021 only temporarily secured the MTA’s budget, agency heads said.

Persistently low ridership means the agency now needs $600 million for 2023, plus over $1 billion for each of the following three years, according to the MTA’s most recent budget forecast.

A representative for the agency accused Malliotakis of “cockiness” – noting that 80% of the agency’s budget goes to labor and healthcare costs.

“As members of Congress know, federal funds received during the pandemic will continue to be used to run services — including on Staten Island and South Brooklyn — to ensure nurses, food workers, first responders, teachers and other New Yorkers can get there jobs , healthcare and other critical goals,” spokesman John McCarthy said in a statement.

“Each bill that brought significant support to transit authorities and kept trains and buses running during a national emergency included federal audit provisions that don’t require tribune politics by politicians to activate.” MTA “shouldn’t ask for more money,” said US Rep. Nicole Malliotakis


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