After approving far-reaching transit cuts and leaving open the possibility for additional service reductions, MTA board members are urging the transit agency to use stimulus money and capital funds to balance the budget. "These are desperate times and stimulus money is intended to be used for situations like this," said board member Andrew Albert. "It's not a trend."
Cutting the W and V trains, nixing dozens of bus routes, and slowing service system-wide will help the MTA save $93 million—but the transit agency still needs to come up with an additional $378 million to plug the remaining budget shortfall. So board members want the agency to pay for day-to-day operations using federal stimulus money and capital funds that had been directed to station renovations and "big-ticket" projects like the Second Avenue subway and the 7 train extension, the Post reports.
"It should be on the table," said board member Doreen Frasca. "We should use it strategically under very extraordinary circumstances and these are very extraordinary circumstances." So far, MTA officials have been hesitant to divert cash away from major projects.