When MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast penned an urgent letter to City and State Officials last Thursday, asking both the Mayor and the Governor to pony up and close the MTA's freshly re-calculated $9.8 billion deficit (down from $14 billion) and contribute additionally towards the completion of the elusive Second Avenue Subway Line, Governor Cuomo suddenly voiced his support—after largely ignoring the MTA's budget needs throughout the last legislative session.

The letter called for an extra $200 million per year from the City for the next five years (on top of the $125 million annually de Blasio agreed to in May), plus $1.5 billion for the Second Avenue Subway Line's next phase, for a grand total of $3.2 billion. It would then be on the State to fund the rest of the capital plan, to the tune of $7.3 billion (on top of its current annual contribution of $1 billion).

That same night, Cuomo told NY 1, "I think [Prendergast's] right—that between the state and the city we should make up the $9.8 billion." Adding, "I could argue that it's a little burdensome on the state. But I would accept the MTA’s numbers just to get it done and to go forward." However, he didn't explain where his contribution of $8.3 billion would come from.

De Blasio, for his part, expressed skepticism about the MTA's large ask. He told reporters on Monday, "We literally don't know where the money is coming from or how it would be paid for or what it means. So, you know, when we see the substance of it, we'll be in a better position to comment."

A letter sent to the MTA by First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris last week stated that "Given the urgency of the situation, the City is ready and willing to work with the state to develop a sound, long-term solution." However, Shorris stressed that he thinks the onus is on the State, and suggested that Albany reconsider the MoveNY Plan, which would charge drivers a toll for crossing the city's currently-free East River bridges, with the proceeds going to fund mass transit.

Undeterred, Prendergast sent another urgent and strongly-worded letter last night—this time, just to the Mayor. He reiterated that 80% of the MTA's assets are "dedicated to New York City Transit and directly benefitting New York City to a far greater degree than other parts of the MTA service area." Prendergast also argued that MTA users in New York City receive perks that state-wide users do not, "including MTA para-transit services, student fares and senior fare discounts—and not without significant cost to the MTA."

Prendergast also threw some not-so-subtle shade on MoveNY's congestion pricing idea:

Finally, I have read that the City may pursue funding strategies that were not politically feasible in the past and are not likely politically feasible now. Pursuing these strategies would likely cause further delay and leave the MTA exactly where we are today one year from now.

On Monday, while announcing plans to overhaul La Guardia Airport for $4 billion (50% funded by private contractors), Cuomo reiterated his willingness to fork over the $8.3 billion, still without much clarity as to how exactly he would pull it off. From Prendergast's Tuesday letter: "Governor Cuomo publicly accepted the MTA's request for the State to fund $8.3 billion for the Capital Program to be paid for through the state budget process over the next five years."

De Blasio Spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick stated this morning, "We look forward to the comprehensive conversation we've repeatedly called for regarding a sustainable funding stream for this vital State authority."

Keep in mind that Cuomo essentially controls the MTA, since the agency is chartered to the State. As Streetsblog put it earlier this year, "Any major MTA policy decision made in opposition to Cuomo’s wishes is pretty much unthinkable."