Statement form State Senator Kevin Parker on the MTA Fare Hikes

Kevin S. Parker

March 25, 2009

“The MTA’s decision to raise transit fares and cut services for workers, seniors, and students in New York City proves just how out of touch they are from the problems of the people they are charged to serve. Every New Yorker has to tighten their belt, why not the MTA?

I oppose the MTA’s plan to impose tolls on NYC drivers, I oppose this latest massive and unwarranted fare increase, and I oppose the MTA’s desire to impose a large, new “mobility” payroll tax on downstate workers and businesses. There is a better way.

Yes, mass transit is a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers, but we cannot trust the MTA. The MTA has a long record of project mismanagement, fiscal negligence, and budgetary deception. Legislators simply cannot rely on the MTA financial projections, and need an independent accounting to properly craft reasonable and fair solutions to bail out the MTA from yet another crisis of their own making.

I continue to challenge and question the projections and assumptions of the MTA financial plan. I request State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli immediately commence a forensic audit of MTA operations and review their proposed capital plan.

The Senate Majority has proposed a plan that does not impose new tolls, and recommends a more modest payroll tax and smaller fare increases. We remain committed to solutions that will work for commuters and taxpayers, and ultimately the MTA.”

We believe, however, that unless and until the MTA allows an independent audit of their finances, agrees to greater transparency and accountability, and changes their bloated management structure and bureaucracy; legislators, taxpayers, and commuters will simply be throwing good money after bad.”