This week it emerged that New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city's transportation system, discovered it accidentally had an extra $1,900,000,000 on hand. Oops. No matter, though! They're still raising fares 15% over the next three years, because of course they are.
Let's say that one more time, all together now: ONE POINT NINE BILLION GODDAMN DOLLARS.
The report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office found the extra money while conducting an audit of the MTA, and after learning about the giant bucket of cash they now sit on the MTA has decided to "improve service" and "maintenance."
Back in April, which was the last time the MTA anticipated a surplus of only $40 million, public advocates begged the MTA to actually improve service and maintenance, and it did not, according to WCBS.
A monthly Metrocard pass currently costs $112, which is 32% over the 2008 cost. At the current rate of fare increases (which is projected to continue), a monthly Metrocard will cost $168 in 2023.
Unsurprisingly, DiNapoli helpfully notes that the price of riding the subway has increased faster than inflation.
On a completely unrelated note which has nothing to do with any of this but it just popped into my head, the way some things whimsically do, the MTA has historically been plagued by massive corruption, waste, and mob ties. And the guy running as the Republican candidate for New York City Mayor, Joe Lhota, is the former head of the MTA, but he doesn't like to talk about it much.
So there's that.
Photo via Mr. T in DC