Photograph by shveckle on Flickr

The MTA announced the long-expected news that its economic situation is grim. In fact, MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot Sander told reporters, “Should riders be concerned? Absolutely. Am I concerned? Absolutely.” The depressing highlights:

  • "Tax revenues are $120 million below projections" and will be $280 million under projections by the end of the year.
  • Rising fuel prices means the MTA is $60 million over budget. All told, the MTA could have a $500 million deficit in the operating budget.
  • $2.7 billion in projects will be delayed, including the renovations of 19 subway stations (including Smith-Ninth Street, Ninth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway, and 12 others in Brooklyn and Castle Hill Avenue, Middletown Road and two others in the Bronx) and modernizing track signals (keep in mind, modern track signals might help trains...run faster).

Call us very concerned, Mr. Sander! Nothing was specifically said about a fare hike, but it's very probable one will happen. Despite the bad news, some improvements to the system will go on as planned; the Post has a graphic showing some of them, including the $8.9 million plan to expand service on the 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, B, M and W lines.

AndCurbed found a possible silver lining: Regarding the subway stations that were slated for renovations--at least they won't be shut down now for the repairs!