MTA Faces $15.2 Billion Funding Shortfall

NEW YORK (Reuters) -

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operator of one of the world’s largest public transportation networks, said ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday that it is facing a $15.2 billion shortfall for its infrastructure needs.

In a document posted on its website the MTA said it will “work with its funding partners to identify the additional resources needed to achieve full funding.” It said alternatives include reducing the size of the capital program or increasing fares and tolls.

But the MTA said reducing investment would jeopardize safety and hinder its ability to serve one of the most densely populated areas of the United States, according to the document that will be presented to MTA’s board.

The document said that “A reduced program will not keep pace with state of good repair renewal needs” and will effect the MTA’s ability “to continue delivering safe and reliable service at current levels.”

The MTA is updating its five-year capital program for 2015 to 2019. The program envisions $32 billion in investments for projects such as replacing subway, bus, and commuter railroad fleets, and a major $10 billion project to enhance access to east Manhattan.

The MTA is a major borrower in the municipal bond market, with more than $34 billion in debt.