Thanks to plummeting tax revenues, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to face a $400 million budget shortfall—even if it implements drastic service cuts that would terminate bus lines and subway routes and nix free Metrocards for students. So what, if anything, could be worse than the already-proposed "Doomsday" cuts?

Because revenues from a payroll tax created to help bailout the MTA last year have fallen short of their anticipated numbers, getting around the city might become more expensive and more difficult. The MTA might choose to increase fares in 2011 by more than the planned 7.5 percent, a board member told the Post. "As far as a fare increase, the amount of money we expected from certain revenues are not coming into effect. And the conditions upon which we agreed to keep the fare hike at 7.5 percent could be impacted." The source added: "Forget that they're not coming in 2010—those revenues also aren't coming in 2011." Another board members said sticking to the planned 7.5 percent hike would be "unfair" to the MTA.

The agency might also impose additional service cuts, according to the tabloid. In an official statement, the MTA said it is "considering a variety of cost saving and other measures in addition to those proposed in the December Plan" and that it "remains prepared to take needed actions in order to maintain a balanced budget." Gov. Paterson said the new shortfall brings on "rather egregious problems" for the MTA, and blamed the drop on businesses that don't pay the tax and poor tax revenue predictions. Transit activists including the Straphangers Campaign have urged the MTA to redirect federal stimulus money currently devoted to construction and renovation work to keeping transit running—a proposal the agency has so far resisted, according to 1010WINS.