Today’s news:

MTA shouldn’t balance budget on backs of riders

An open letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder:

I am writing to express my concerns with the MTA’s latest plan to balance its budget on the backs of my constituents. I am not surprised the MTA is facing another crisis — given the history of fiscal incompetency, fare hikes and services cuts this agency has imposed on riders.

Rather than addressing the real problem, which is the MTA’s long history of mismanagement and overspending, you are once again expecting the public to pay the price for your mistakes. Common sense dictates you cannot cut an entire subway line or slash express service like the latest No. 7 train cut proposal and not expect these measures to negatively affect New Yorkers. You do not cut services to a borough like Queens, where the population is growing.

The MTA is once again facing an astounding budget deficit. The MTA deficit will continue to grow unless the systemic problems that have plagued this agency, including mismanagement, overspending and duplication of services, are finally addressed. And while the state Senate is working to restore public transportation cuts, the MTA has chosen to distort this fact in an effort to conceal its own budgetary failures. This is deceptive and counterproductive in seeking a solution to the growing deficit.

Cutting services for disabled New Yorkers, slashing bus service in already underserved areas and reducing subway lines are unacceptable measures. My constituents depend on public transportation to travel to work, get their children to school or transport their elderly parents to senior centers. They depend on safe, clean and adequate public transportation.

I am again asking the MTA to open its books and develop a rational, longterm financial plan that will ensure New Yorkers receive reliable and affordable public transportation.

Jose Peralta

State Senator

Jackson Heights

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