Apparently, the MTA has a really big couch, as the agency now has $833 million in unanticipated money for the year. Well, actually it's from tax revenue, but instead of making sure they won't raise fares in future years, the MTA is thinking about taking $350 million to build a platform over its West Side Railyards. Because, if you build it, they will come. The MTA thinks they would be able to sell the platformed area for $1 billion to developers for commercial and residential complexes, and the Daily News calls the MTA's move a "death knell" for the Jets' plan. Well, it wouldn't be a death knell if the Jets would pony up $1 billion for the land, versus the $250 million they were offering a few months ago. When asked about this idea, the Mayor said, "Nobody is going to build anything on the West Side without the city being part of it. Nobody's sure yet what will go over there." As in, "Get Kalikow and his accounting department on the phone now - if we'd found out about this earlier, maybe we coulda had a stadium for the Olympics bid."
Anyway, though these plans are not firm (they are among many things the MTA is discussing), it seems $12 million may go towards what the Times calls "immediate improvements in service and security" and another $481 million will go towards pension liability. Here's hoping that service and security improvements mean the dirtiest stations get cleaned up and desolate stations get more security. Experts say the MTA isn't lying when they say they didn't realize they'd have so much money, especially when the real estate market is so hot (the get tax revenue from real estate). Gothamist wouldn't say the MTA is lying on purpose, but we also think they are kind of thick at times.