New York has $15bn black hole in transport funding

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it has a $15.2bn shortfall in the funding of its infrastructure plan over the next five years, according to documents posted on its website. 

The authority has said it will "work with its funding partners to identify the additional resources needed to achieve full funding". The MTA is considering selling $6bn of debt to help with the gap in its spending between 2015 and 2019. It may also reduce the size of the proposed programme and increase fares and tolls. 

The MTA plans to spend $22.2bn on safety and reliability projects and $4.3bn on technology and infrastructure. Another $5.5bn will be used to expand the subway network. 

Thomas Prendergast, MTA’s chief executive officer, said: "The MTA network is a $1 trillion asset, and it needs constant investment so it can serve everyone who relies on it now and can grow to serve more people in the future." 

Joseph Pezzimenti, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s, told Reuters that the authority had previously released five-year capital plans with funding shortfalls and simply adjusted the plan in later years. He said: "They first made sure they identified funding sources in the first few years of that programme and then they were able at a later date to identify funding sources for the remainder." 

He added that despite its debt, the MTA had a near-monopoly position on public transport in New York, a service area that has a population of more than 15 million.

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