In order to avoid far-reaching subway cuts that would eliminate the M and W lines and cause trains to become less frequent and more crowded, the MTA needs about $18 million—the same amount a deadbeat advertising company owes the transit agency. An MTA audit revealed that Titan Outdoor Holdings has come up short on its monthly payments for almost a year, but the MTA is afraid that recouping the money might bankrupt the company, causing the agency to net even less revenue.

According to the Daily News, Titan's contract promises the MTA 72 percent of gross revenues or $5.4 million a month, whichever is greater. Though that rate is the highest in the industry, the company hit the mark in 2007 and 2008. But since the recession hit, business at Titan has gone downhill. Since February 2009, Titan has only given the agency about $4 million per month, and an MTA audit revealed the company has filed financial statements late and under-reported revenue, demonstrating a "continued pattern of noncompliance with its financial reporting."

But right now, as the MTA considers "Doomsday" service cuts and faces another budget shortfall next year, officials worry that if they fire Titan, it's unlikely another ad company would sign on to pay the same rate. That means, the MTA might turn out renegotiating its contract with Titan to accept lower payments. An MTA spokesman told the paper: "We're exploring all of our options."