The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates the Metro-North Railroad, recently forecasted a record $960 million surplus this year, and an expected surplus of $377 million in 2008. The MTA acknowledged that fare increases are not necessary to balance its budget next year. Despite the surplus, it has proposed a fare increase. MTA’s chief financial officer is quoted as saying that "....most suburban commuters could expect to see their costs going up at close to the 3.85 percent target".
"Governor Spitzer recently announced that he has recommended to the MTA that its surplus be returned to riders by holding the base fare for subways and buses to $2.00, but no where does he mention holding the line on increases for Metro-North riders," said Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie). "Dutchess County residents who frequently commute to New York City will be asked to shoulder a fare increase to keep New York City residents’ fares from increasing, despite the fact that the MTA has a huge surplus -- this makes no sense to me at all."
"I have joined my Senate Republican Majority colleagues in the Hudson Valley in voicing my opposition to this unnecessary and unjustified fare increase. I would urge anyone who wishes to voice their displeasure about the increase to go to my website www.senatorsaland.com. I have provided a link to e-mail your comments to the MTA," Saland concluded.