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MTA chairman rules out additional fare hikes from Sandy

Employees from MTA New York City Transit worked to restore the South Ferry subway station after it was flooded by seawater during Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy MTA/Patrick Cashin.
TimesLedger Newspapers

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said Wednesday the agency plans no additional fare hikes or service cuts to help pay for the prodigious damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

The MTA board will vote next month on the already planned fare increases, which are scheduled to take effect in March 2013.

“The burden of Sandy will not be on our riders,” Lhota said following the monthly meeting of the MTA board at its Manhattan headquarters.

Lhota also said he would “do everything I possibly can to prevent any service cuts.”

Asked if he thought the MTA could get enough money from Washington to repair the damage from the hurricane, Lhota said, “I have an enormous amount of confidence in the federal government that we will receive a substantial amount of money to cover what is necessary to get us back to the condition of functionality we had the day before the storm.”

Lhota added that he is confident because of the way the federal government has acted following other such situations throughout the country.

Transit officials have estimated that bringing back the transportation network could cost up to $4.8 billion.

Lhota said damage caused by Sandy to the South Ferry terminal was among the worst.

“South Ferry was destroyed,” Lhota said.”It wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t wrecked. lt was destroyed — from top to bottom.”

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