STIMULUS FUNDS TO MTA

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Once the U.S. Senate votes on the House-approved stimulus package, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could stand to receive $1.7 billion in federal aid. This money will go toward capital projects like the Second Avenue subway, which is threatened by the ’s budget problems.

“We have proposed a long list of projects which will be pared based on the final amount of the stimulus and the limitations set on the money by the legislation,” said Kevin Ortiz, spokesman for the MTA. “We continue to maintain and update a list of projects that could be funded by the stimulus.”

Allocating the money for capital projects, however, means that straphangers could still face service cuts and fair increases. To close the MTA’s budget gap, in the authority must receive state aid, an increase in revenue generated by the Ravitch Commission recommendations and federal aid devoted to transportation infrastructure.

In the House bill, Rep. Jerrold Nadler successfully included an amendment to the stimulus that added $3 billion for transportation and infrastructure, for a total of $12 billion. As the Senate takes up the stimulus bill, Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing an amendment to add $6.5 billion for transit funding, bringing the sum to $14.9 billion.

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