MTA FACING “FINANCIAL CALAMITY”

March 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm

MTA FACING “FINANCIAL CALAMITY”

SUBWAY RIDERSHIP DOWN 80%

SERVICE CUTS GO INTO EFFECT WEDNESDAY

FUTURE OF CAPITAL PLAN “UP IN THE AIR”

As ridership plummets on the subway, buses and commuter rail lines, Stephen Nessen, WNYC transportation reporter, reports on the MTA’s request for a $4 billion federal bailout, as well as what safety measures being implemented to protect the safety of riders and transit workers.

Nessen breaks down the declining ridership numbers that has now prompted MTA Chairman Pat Foye to announce cuts to day-to-day service, to go into effect on Wednesday.

Nessen explains that the corresponding drop in “fare box” revenue is likely to have dire consequences for the MTA’s already “precarious” finances.  There’s also uncertainty about the future of the $51 billion capital plan unveiled last year. “That’s a big mystery”, explained Nessen. “We’re all waiting to find what happens to this big capital plan. Before the crisis, the MTA was making some of the biggest plans it’s ever made to modernize the subways. Now it’s very much in the air”

In a New York Times Op-Ed this week, Foye renewed his call for the federal government to step in with a $4 billion bailout for the MTA.

For more on the latest MTA service cuts, check the MTA website .

The  NJ Transit website is also posting schedule changes.

Aired on March 25, 2020. 

Transcript Print

00:00:00:00 00:00:01:28 >>> HELLO, I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.
00:00:01:28 00:00:04:21 YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU AT HOME, WE
00:00:04:21 00:00:07:18 HERE AT "METROFOCUS" ARE
00:00:07:18 00:00:08:07 PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING
00:00:08:07 00:00:09:22 DURING THIS CORONAVIRUS
00:00:09:22 00:00:10:00 PANDEMIC.
00:00:10:00 00:00:10:20 NEVERTHELESS, WE ARE COMMITTED
00:00:10:20 00:00:12:10 TO BRINGING YOU THE MOST
00:00:12:10 00:00:14:07 IMPORTANT STORIES AFFECTING OUR
00:00:14:07 00:00:14:15 COMMUNITY.
00:00:14:15 00:00:15:08 TONIGHT WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW
00:00:15:08 00:00:19:01 THE CRISIS IS IMPACTING OUR
00:00:19:01 00:00:21:09 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
00:00:21:09 00:00:24:00 ECONOMICALLY.
00:00:24:00 00:00:27:02 IS THE MTA FACING A FINANCIAL
00:00:27:02 00:00:27:10 CALAMITY?
00:00:27:10 00:00:32:05 JOINING US NOW IS WYNC THE
00:00:32:05 00:00:33:20 TRANSPORTATION REPORTER.
00:00:33:20 00:00:34:11 STEVEN, THANKS FOR JOINING US.
00:00:34:11 00:00:35:15 THE FIRST QUESTION, BEFORE WE
00:00:35:15 00:00:39:09 GET TO THE ECONOMICS, WHAT'S THE
00:00:39:09 00:00:42:24 STATUS, THE GENERAL STATUS OF
00:00:42:24 00:00:43:06 BUSES AND SUBWAYS?
00:00:43:06 00:00:44:07 ARE THEY STILL RUNNING ON
00:00:44:07 00:00:45:08 REGULAR SCHEDULE?
00:00:45:08 00:00:46:19 >> YEAH, AS A MATTER OF FACT,
00:00:46:19 00:00:48:01 THE TRAINS ARE ABSOLUTELY
00:00:48:01 00:00:50:29 RUNNING ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE.
00:00:50:29 00:00:53:28 BUSES ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO
00:00:53:28 00:00:54:17 KEEP A REGULAR SCHEDULE BECAUSE
00:00:54:17 00:00:56:05 THE ROADS ARE SO EMPTY RIGHT
00:00:56:05 00:00:56:10 NOW.
00:00:56:10 00:00:58:24 BUSES CAN RUN MUCH EASIER THAN
00:00:58:24 00:00:59:01 NORMAL.
00:00:59:01 00:01:00:15 SO THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT
00:01:00:15 00:01:02:16 THEY CAN STAY ON THE REGULAR
00:01:02:16 00:01:02:24 SCHEDULE.
00:01:02:24 00:01:04:27 BUT METRO-NORTH, LONG ISLAND
00:01:04:27 00:01:07:17 RAILROAD ARE RUNNING ON REGULAR
00:01:07:17 00:01:07:25 SCHEDULE.
00:01:07:25 00:01:09:24 THEY ARE WORKING HARD TO ENSURE
00:01:09:24 00:01:10:28 THAT FIRST RESPONDERS, NURSES,
00:01:10:28 00:01:12:24 PEOPLE WHO ARE PROVIDING
00:01:12:24 00:01:14:11 ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES,
00:01:14:11 00:01:16:13 THOSE KINDS OF FOLKS, CAN
00:01:16:13 00:01:17:16 CONTINUE TO USE PUBLIC
00:01:17:16 00:01:19:04 TRANSPORTATION TO GET AROUND
00:01:19:04 00:01:20:19 DURING THIS CRISIS.
00:01:20:19 00:01:23:03 >> BUT WHAT'S THE RIDERSHIP LIKE
00:01:23:03 00:01:23:11 ACTUALLY?
00:01:23:11 00:01:25:24 I MEAN, ALMOST EVERYONE AND
00:01:25:24 00:01:28:16 ALMOST EVERYTHING LOCKED DOWN.
00:01:28:16 00:01:29:10 WHO IS RIDING THE SUBWAY NOW OR
00:01:29:10 00:01:30:00 THE BUS?
00:01:30:00 00:01:33:12 >> YEAH, IT IS -- THE DROP IN
00:01:33:12 00:01:34:28 RIDERSHIP IS INCREDIBLE.
00:01:34:28 00:01:37:01 METRO-NORTH HAS SEEN A 90% DROP
00:01:37:01 00:01:38:27 IN RIDERSHIP.
00:01:38:27 00:01:40:11 THAT MEANS ONLY 10% OF THE
00:01:40:11 00:01:41:18 REGULAR CUSTOMERS ARE STILL
00:01:41:18 00:01:44:00 GOING.
00:01:44:00 00:01:47:08 LONG ISLAND RAILROAD IS DOWN
00:01:47:08 00:01:47:16 60%, 70%.
00:01:47:16 00:01:49:13 SUBWAYS ARE DOWN AS WELL.
00:01:49:13 00:01:50:01 INCREDIBLE NUMBERS.
00:01:50:01 00:01:51:27 80% OF THE RIDERSHIP IS DOWN.
00:01:51:27 00:01:54:23 BUSES ARE ABOUT MAYBE 50.
00:01:54:23 00:01:55:12 THOSE NUMBERS ARE GOING UP EVERY
00:01:55:12 00:01:57:07 DAY AS FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE
00:01:57:07 00:01:58:23 LEAVE THEIR HOMES.
00:01:58:23 00:02:01:17 I SHOULD SAY THE CITY DID AN
00:02:01:17 00:02:02:11 INTERESTING ANALYSIS OF
00:02:02:11 00:02:04:10 TURNSTILE DATA AND FOUND IN
00:02:04:10 00:02:05:10 MANHATTAN THAT'S THE BIGGEST
00:02:05:10 00:02:07:00 DROP IN RIDERSHIP.
00:02:07:00 00:02:09:06 SOME OF THE OUTER BOROUGHS,
00:02:09:06 00:02:11:04 DEEPER IN THE BRONX AND QUEENS
00:02:11:04 00:02:15:05 AND BROOKLYN, THE RIDERSHIP DROP
00:02:15:05 00:02:18:21 HAS NOT BEEN QUITE AS SETEEP AS
00:02:18:21 00:02:19:06 THE CENTER OF MANHATTAN.
00:02:19:06 00:02:21:19 YOU HAVE SEEN THE PHOTOS OF
00:02:21:19 00:02:21:29 TIMES SQUARE.
00:02:21:29 00:02:23:09 NOBODY IS THERE.
00:02:23:09 00:02:25:17 IT'S NOT SO EVENLY DISTRIBUTED
00:02:25:17 00:02:27:06 BY THE RIDERSHIP IS INCREDIBLY
00:02:27:06 00:02:27:19 DOWN.
00:02:27:19 00:02:30:09 AND THE MTA VERY CONCERNED ABOUT
00:02:30:09 00:02:32:26 FARE BOX REVENUE WHICH IS NOT
00:02:32:26 00:02:34:07 THE LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING,
00:02:34:07 00:02:36:00 BUT A LARGE SOURCE OF FUNDING.
00:02:36:00 00:02:38:03 AND IN FACT I SHOULD TELL YOU
00:02:38:03 00:02:39:17 THIS WEEK THE MTA BEGAN DOING
00:02:39:17 00:02:42:07 REAR BOARDING ON BUSES, ALMOST
00:02:42:07 00:02:43:11 EVERY SINGLE BUS, YOU CAN BOARD
00:02:43:11 00:02:45:08 FROM THE REAR NOW, WHICH MEANS A
00:02:45:08 00:02:48:00 LOT OF FOLKS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO
00:02:48:00 00:02:50:10 PAYUP UPFRONT UNLESS YOU ARE IN
00:02:50:10 00:02:51:23 A SELECT BUS SERVICE BUSES AND
00:02:51:23 00:02:53:03 THE MTA IS OKAY WITH THAT.
00:02:53:03 00:02:55:16 THEY WANT TO PROTECT THE BUS
00:02:55:16 00:02:56:20 DRIVERS AND INSURE THEY ARE
00:02:56:20 00:02:57:29 KEEPING THE SIX FEET OF
00:02:57:29 00:02:59:11 DISTANCE, WHICH IS INCREDIBLY
00:02:59:11 00:03:00:20 HARD WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING A BUS.
00:03:00:20 00:03:02:12 >> I GUESS THAT'S THE BIGGEST
00:03:02:12 00:03:05:06 ARGUMENT FOR KEEPING THE REGULAR
00:03:05:06 00:03:07:25 SCHEDULE BECAUSE IF THEY REDUCE
00:03:07:25 00:03:08:15 THE SCHEDULE, SOCIAL DISTANCING
00:03:08:15 00:03:10:09 WOULD BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT.
00:03:10:09 00:03:11:27 PROTECTING THE BUS DRIVER, TALK
00:03:11:27 00:03:13:25 ABOUT HOW SAFE IS THE SITUATION
00:03:13:25 00:03:15:11 FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION WORKERS
00:03:15:11 00:03:16:25 AND FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO
00:03:16:25 00:03:19:17 END UP USING THE SYSTEM?
00:03:19:17 00:03:22:07 >> WELL, THE MTA IS DOING A VERY
00:03:22:07 00:03:23:15 AGGRESSIVE CLEANING CAMPAIGN.
00:03:23:15 00:03:24:12 THEY HAVE BEEN DOING IT WELL
00:03:24:12 00:03:26:09 OVER A WEEK NOW.
00:03:26:09 00:03:27:20 THAT INCLUDES DISINFECTING ALL
00:03:27:20 00:03:31:16 THE BUSES, ALL THE TRAINS, ALL
00:03:31:16 00:03:33:08 THE COMMUTER RAIL TRAINS AS
00:03:33:08 00:03:33:14 WELL.
00:03:33:14 00:03:35:13 EVERY 72 HOURS, THEY SORT OF
00:03:35:13 00:03:36:15 ROLL THROUGH THE SYSTEM.
00:03:36:15 00:03:37:21 EACH GETS A DEEP CLEANING.
00:03:37:21 00:03:39:18 THAT GOES FOR STATIONS WHICH ARE
00:03:39:18 00:03:41:15 GETTING CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A
00:03:41:15 00:03:41:20 DAY.
00:03:41:20 00:03:43:11 MTA OFFICES, THEY HAVE A LOT OF
00:03:43:11 00:03:45:26 OFFICE WORKERS, AND THEY WERE
00:03:45:26 00:03:48:00 VERY WERND ABOUT GETTING THOSE
00:03:48:00 00:03:48:11 PLACES CLEANED.
00:03:48:11 00:03:51:23 THE MTA ASSURES US THOSE ARE
00:03:51:23 00:03:52:08 BEING CLEANED EVERY DAY.
00:03:52:08 00:03:53:21 THEY ARE USING A SPECIAL FORMULA
00:03:53:21 00:03:54:23 THAT THE CDC RECOMMENDS.
00:03:54:23 00:03:56:10 AND VERY EARLY, I BELIEVE, YOU
00:03:56:10 00:03:57:21 KNOW, WHEN WE WERE STARTING TO
00:03:57:21 00:04:00:02 SEE THE NEW ROCHELLE CASE, THE
00:04:00:02 00:04:01:22 MTA IMMEDIATELY ROLLED OUT
00:04:01:22 00:04:03:08 AGGRESSIVE CLEANING MEASURES TO
00:04:03:08 00:04:05:00 LET THE PUBLIC KNOW IT IS SAFE
00:04:05:00 00:04:06:04 TO RIDE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AS
00:04:06:04 00:04:08:06 THIS SORT OF CRISIS UNFOLDED IT
00:04:08:06 00:04:10:09 BECAME, WELL, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP
00:04:10:09 00:04:11:26 DISTANCE, STAY OUT OF PUBLIC.
00:04:11:26 00:04:14:09 THE MTA MADE SURE THOSE FOLKS
00:04:14:09 00:04:15:15 WHO NEED TO GO INTO THE PUBLIC
00:04:15:15 00:04:17:09 CAN DO SO SAFELY AND THE BUSES
00:04:17:09 00:04:21:14 ARE CLEAN, THE SUBWAYS ARE CLEAN
00:04:21:14 00:04:23:05 AND ACCESSORY VANS AS WELL.
00:04:23:05 00:04:24:25 THOSE HAVE BEEN CLEANED EVERY
00:04:24:25 00:04:25:00 DAY.
00:04:25:00 00:04:26:19 IN FACT, THE MTA, YOU KNOW, THEY
00:04:26:19 00:04:29:09 USED TO SHARE THOSE VAN RIDES
00:04:29:09 00:04:30:24 WHERE THEY PICK SEVERAL PEOPLE
00:04:30:24 00:04:31:20 UP ON A ROUTE.
00:04:31:20 00:04:32:26 THAT'S NOW STOPPED.
00:04:32:26 00:04:34:04 IT'S JUST ONE PERSON IN THE VAN
00:04:34:04 00:04:36:07 AT A TIME.
00:04:36:07 00:04:37:22 THOSE SERVICES ARE STILL
00:04:37:22 00:04:39:00 CONTINUING FOR FOLKS WHO NEED TO
00:04:39:00 00:04:40:17 GET WHERE THEY NEED TO GO.
00:04:40:17 00:04:42:19 >> AND SPECIFICALLY THE HEALTH
00:04:42:19 00:04:44:12 OF THE TRANSPORTATION WORKERS,
00:04:44:12 00:04:45:22 DO WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF
00:04:45:22 00:04:47:12 TRANSPORTATION WORKERS WHO HAVE
00:04:47:12 00:04:49:12 TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS?
00:04:49:12 00:04:51:23 >> WELL, JUST LIKE EVERYONE IN
00:04:51:23 00:04:53:02 NEW YORK CITY, THEY ARE NOT
00:04:53:02 00:04:56:00 IMMUNE TO IT.
00:04:56:00 00:04:57:12 AS THE NUMBERS GO UP INEVITABLY
00:04:57:12 00:04:59:20 THE NUMBER OF TRANSIT WORKERS IS
00:04:59:20 00:05:00:27 GOING TO GO UP.
00:05:00:27 00:05:02:13 THE LATEST NUMBER IS 30, BUT THE
00:05:02:13 00:05:05:04 NUMBERS GO UP EVERY DAY.
00:05:05:04 00:05:06:14 IN FACT, JUST THIS MORNING, I
00:05:06:14 00:05:08:17 SHOULD SAY LAST NIGHT, THEY
00:05:08:17 00:05:10:11 TESTED SOMEONE AT THE END OF THE
00:05:10:11 00:05:12:17 AC LINE, AND THEY HAD TO CLEAR
00:05:12:17 00:05:14:25 OUT A BUNCH OF WORKERS AND TELL
00:05:14:25 00:05:16:27 FOLKS STAY AWAY FOR THE TIME
00:05:16:27 00:05:18:12 BEING SO THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH
00:05:18:12 00:05:20:04 WORKERS TO RUN THE C TRAIN THIS
00:05:20:04 00:05:21:11 MORNING.
00:05:21:11 00:05:23:25 THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE, OF
00:05:23:25 00:05:25:07 COURSE, AS MORE WORKERS CYCLE
00:05:25:07 00:05:25:16 BACK IN.
00:05:25:16 00:05:26:27 THEY WILL GET THE TRAINS UP AND
00:05:26:27 00:05:27:15 RUNNING AGAIN.
00:05:27:15 00:05:30:08 BUT THAT IS AN ONGOING CONCERN
00:05:30:08 00:05:34:00 THAT IF ENOUGH WORKERS ON A
00:05:34:00 00:05:35:07 PARTICULAR LINE OR A DEPOT TEST
00:05:35:07 00:05:36:19 POSITIVE AND THEY NEED TO CLEAR
00:05:36:19 00:05:38:10 THE SPACE OUT, DISINFECT IT,
00:05:38:10 00:05:40:01 IT'S POSSIBLE THEY WON'T HAVE
00:05:40:01 00:05:41:13 ENOUGH PEOPLE TO RUN CERTAIN
00:05:41:13 00:05:42:04 LINES.
00:05:42:04 00:05:44:11 LAST WEEK IT WAS THE FRESH PONDS
00:05:44:11 00:05:45:21 MEADOW BUS DEPOT HAD SOME
00:05:45:21 00:05:46:11 ISSUES.
00:05:46:11 00:05:48:02 BUT THE MTA IS VERY AGGRESSIVE
00:05:48:02 00:05:50:12 AND THEY FOLLOW THE STATE
00:05:50:12 00:05:51:18 PROTOCOL AS FAR AS WHAT HAPPENS
00:05:51:18 00:05:53:08 IF YOU FEEL SICK, IF YOU NEED TO
00:05:53:08 00:05:54:20 SEE A DOCTOR, IF YOU TEST
00:05:54:20 00:05:55:02 POSITIVE.
00:05:55:02 00:05:56:14 THERE IS SORT OF A CHECKLIST.
00:05:56:14 00:05:58:18 AND THE UNION TELLS ME IT'S
00:05:58:18 00:05:58:24 GOOD.
00:05:58:24 00:06:00:26 IT'S RELIABLE AND THEY ARE DOING
00:06:00:26 00:06:01:16 THEIR BEST AND THEY ARE
00:06:01:16 00:06:03:04 SATISFIED THAT THE MTA IS ALSO
00:06:03:04 00:06:05:04 DOING ITS BEST TO PROTECT ITS
00:06:05:04 00:06:05:12 WORKERS.
00:06:05:12 00:06:06:20 >> YEAH, I SHOULD SAY THAT WE
00:06:06:20 00:06:09:09 ARE TAPING THIS ON MONDAY
00:06:09:09 00:06:09:18 EVENING.
00:06:09:18 00:06:10:29 SO, THAT'S THE REFERENCE YOU ARE
00:06:10:29 00:06:11:06 MAKING.
00:06:11:06 00:06:13:16 LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL
00:06:13:16 00:06:14:08 SITUATION.
00:06:14:08 00:06:16:00 IS THE VIRUS CREATING WHAT SOME
00:06:16:00 00:06:18:07 ARE CALLING AN MTA FINANCIAL
00:06:18:07 00:06:19:23 CALAMITY OR POTENTIAL FINANCIAL
00:06:19:23 00:06:20:10 CALAMITY?
00:06:20:10 00:06:22:07 >> WELL, WE WEREN'T EVEN A WEEK
00:06:22:07 00:06:25:00 AND A HALF INTO IT BEFORE THE
00:06:25:00 00:06:28:00 CHAIRMAN PAT FOYE SENT A LETTER
00:06:28:00 00:06:31:18 TO NEW YORK'S CONGRESSIONAL
00:06:31:18 00:06:36:24 DELEGATION ASKING FOR A
00:06:36:24 00:06:37:13 $4 BILLION BAILOUT TO HELP THEM.
00:06:37:13 00:06:38:00 THAT'S ANTICIPATING ROUGHLY
00:06:38:00 00:06:38:20 $4 BILLION LOST BY THE END OF 20
00:06:38:20 00:06:40:12 TO DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.
00:06:40:12 00:06:42:25 AND THAT INCLUDES A FARE BOX
00:06:42:25 00:06:44:24 REVENUE LOST, BUT ALSO NEW YORK
00:06:44:24 00:06:46:21 STATE TAXES, WHICH THE MTA
00:06:46:21 00:06:49:15 RELIES QUITE A BIT ON, TO
00:06:49:15 00:06:51:05 FINANCE ITS OPERATING BUDGET.
00:06:51:05 00:06:53:17 THE MTA'S OPERATING BUDGET WAS
00:06:53:17 00:06:55:11 ALREADY ON VERY PRECARIOUS
00:06:55:11 00:06:57:04 FOOTING AS IT WAS.
00:06:57:04 00:06:59:12 I MEAN, BY STATE LAW, THEY NEED
00:06:59:12 00:07:00:21 TO BALANCE THEIR BUDGET EVERY
00:07:00:21 00:07:00:29 YEAR.
00:07:00:29 00:07:03:08 EVERY YEAR THEY JUST GET TO THE
00:07:03:08 00:07:04:29 BALANCING POINT WHERE IT'S JUST
00:07:04:29 00:07:06:13 EVEN, AND THEN TWO YEARS OUT
00:07:06:13 00:07:10:04 THEY ARE PROJECTING A $1 BILLION
00:07:10:04 00:07:10:15 DEFICIT.
00:07:10:15 00:07:11:11 $500 MILLION DEFICIT.
00:07:11:11 00:07:15:19 THEY ARE DOING A LOT TO CUT
00:07:15:19 00:07:15:25 COSTS.
00:07:15:25 00:07:16:17 JUST BEFORE THIS HAPPENED, THEY
00:07:16:17 00:07:18:17 WERE IN THE MIDST OF AN
00:07:18:17 00:07:20:00 INCREDIBLE REORGANIZATION --
00:07:20:00 00:07:22:03 >> AND I WANT TO GET TO THAT.
00:07:22:03 00:07:25:07 BUT LET ME ASK YOU THE BASIC
00:07:25:07 00:07:25:15 QUESTION.
00:07:25:15 00:07:27:15 WHAT IS THE ARGUMENT THAT PAT
00:07:27:15 00:07:29:23 FOYE IS MAKING TO THE FEDS FOR
00:07:29:23 00:07:32:01 THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY TO COME TO
00:07:32:01 00:07:32:11 NEW YORK CITY?
00:07:32:11 00:07:34:27 I MEAN, IT COULD BE A
00:07:34:27 00:07:37:06 CATASTROPHE FOR US, BUT HOW IS
00:07:37:06 00:07:39:05 THAT A NATIONAL CATASTROPHE?
00:07:39:05 00:07:40:16 >> I MEAN, THEY SAY NEW YORK
00:07:40:16 00:07:42:11 CITY IS THE LIFEBLOOD -- THE MTA
00:07:42:11 00:07:44:11 IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF NEW YORK
00:07:44:11 00:07:44:29 CITY.
00:07:44:29 00:07:46:17 NEW YORK IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE
00:07:46:17 00:07:48:09 NATION AS FAR AS GENERATING GDP
00:07:48:09 00:07:49:15 AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE
00:07:49:15 00:07:53:04 WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL
00:07:53:04 00:07:53:11 ECONOMY.
00:07:53:11 00:07:55:19 BEFORE THIS WE WERE TALKING
00:07:55:19 00:07:56:10 ABOUT WHAT A CATASTROPHE IT
00:07:56:10 00:07:58:03 WOULD BE IF NEW JERSEY COMMUTERS
00:07:58:03 00:08:00:12 COULDN'T GET IN FROM, THROUGH
00:08:00:12 00:08:02:10 THE GATEWAY TUNNEL IF THAT
00:08:02:10 00:08:04:21 DOESN'T GET BUILT, LET ALONE NEW
00:08:04:21 00:08:06:00 YORK CITY WORKERS NOT BEING ABLE
00:08:06:00 00:08:08:18 TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY.
00:08:08:18 00:08:09:29 WALL STREET IS HERE, OF COURSE.
00:08:09:29 00:08:12:01 SO MANY COMPANIES ARE BASED IN
00:08:12:01 00:08:12:11 NEW YORK CITY.
00:08:12:11 00:08:14:04 PEOPLE NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET
00:08:14:04 00:08:16:02 AROUND AND MOVE FREELY.
00:08:16:02 00:08:19:05 THE MTA ALSO ARGUES SOMETHING
00:08:19:05 00:08:22:08 LIKE 38% OF PUBLIC TRANSIT
00:08:22:08 00:08:23:17 RIDERS RIDES HAPPEN IN NEW YORK
00:08:23:17 00:08:25:22 CITY WHETHER IT'S LONG ISLAND
00:08:25:22 00:08:27:29 RAILROAD, METRO-NORTH BUSES,
00:08:27:29 00:08:29:00 SUBWAYS, ET CETERA.
00:08:29:00 00:08:32:13 SO NOT HAVING AN MTA SUBWAY THEY
00:08:32:13 00:08:34:11 FEAR COULD HAVE QUITE BIG
00:08:34:11 00:08:35:25 NATIONAL REPERCUSSIONS
00:08:35:25 00:08:37:24 FINANCIALLY IF COMMERCE CAN'T
00:08:37:24 00:08:39:01 FLOW AND MONEY CAN'T BE
00:08:39:01 00:08:40:07 GENERATED HERE LIKE IT USED TO
00:08:40:07 00:08:40:12 BE.
00:08:40:12 00:08:42:05 >> AND I GUESS HAVE YOU HEARD
00:08:42:05 00:08:44:21 ANYTHING ABOUT, CONCERNS ABOUT
00:08:44:21 00:08:46:16 WHAT THE MUNICIPAL BOND MARKET
00:08:46:16 00:08:47:23 OR THE NATURE COULD BE IF THE
00:08:47:23 00:08:49:01 MTA GOES BELLY UP?
00:08:49:01 00:08:50:25 >> WELL, CERTAINLY THE MTA
00:08:50:25 00:08:54:29 RELIES A LOT ON SELLING BONDS.
00:08:54:29 00:08:56:28 ITS RATING WAS NOT TOO BAD AS
00:08:56:28 00:08:57:29 FAR AS I UNDERSTAND.
00:08:57:29 00:08:59:18 I AM CERTAINLY NOT AN EXPERT IN
00:08:59:18 00:09:01:20 THE MTA'S BOND ISSUES, BUT I DO
00:09:01:20 00:09:03:26 KNOW THAT THEY RELY A LOT ON
00:09:03:26 00:09:04:03 CREDIT.
00:09:04:03 00:09:05:19 THEY WILL HAVE A LOT OF DEBT
00:09:05:19 00:09:06:01 COMING UP.
00:09:06:01 00:09:07:27 SO I SUPPOSE THAT WILL ALSO BE A
00:09:07:27 00:09:09:26 MAJOR CONCERN IF THEY CAN'T PAY
00:09:09:26 00:09:10:05 THEIR DEBT.
00:09:10:05 00:09:12:20 A LOT OF THEIR OPERATING FUNDING
00:09:12:20 00:09:14:09 GOES TOWARDS PAYING DOWN DEBT
00:09:14:09 00:09:15:21 FOR MONEY THEY BORROWED IN THE
00:09:15:21 00:09:16:00 PAST.
00:09:16:00 00:09:17:17 SO IF THEY CAN'T CONTINUE TO PAY
00:09:17:17 00:09:18:26 THAT OFF, IT IS GOING TO BE
00:09:18:26 00:09:19:04 DIFFICULT.
00:09:19:04 00:09:21:13 IF THEY CAN'T SELL BONDS TO
00:09:21:13 00:09:22:21 FINANCE OTHER OPERATIONS AND
00:09:22:21 00:09:23:26 PROJECTS, IT'S GOING TO BE A
00:09:23:26 00:09:24:03 PROBLEM.
00:09:24:03 00:09:26:12 THEY JUST CASHED OUT $1 BILLION
00:09:26:12 00:09:27:24 LAST WEEK TO KEEP THEM GOING.
00:09:27:24 00:09:28:29 IT'S NOT EVEN CLEAR THAT'S GOING
00:09:28:29 00:09:30:08 TO LAST FOR A LONG TIME WITH
00:09:30:08 00:09:33:18 SUCH A BIG AGENCY, YOU KNOW,
00:09:33:18 00:09:34:20 70,000 TRANSIT WORKERS ALONE,
00:09:34:20 00:09:36:06 NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE
00:09:36:06 00:09:38:01 ONGOING PROJECTS WHICH WE HEARD
00:09:38:01 00:09:38:26 ABOUT SO MUCH, WHICH STILL NEED
00:09:38:26 00:09:40:21 TO BE FUNDED AND WORKERS STILL
00:09:40:21 00:09:41:21 NEED TO GET PAID.
00:09:41:21 00:09:43:12 >> LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU
00:09:43:12 00:09:44:08 MADE REFERENCE TO.
00:09:44:08 00:09:48:12 THE MTA WAS PLANNING TO SPEND
00:09:48:12 00:09:50:10 $51 BILLION ON INFRASTRUCTURE
00:09:50:10 00:09:52:25 PROJECTS, A NUMBER OF THEM.
00:09:52:25 00:09:55:19 BADLY NEEDED.
00:09:55:19 00:09:56:27 WILL THAT HAVE TO BE SCRAPPED,
00:09:56:27 00:09:57:21 DO YOU THINK?
00:09:57:21 00:09:59:28 >> THAT IS A BIG MYSTERY.
00:09:59:28 00:10:02:05 WE ARE ALL WAITING TO FIND OUT
00:10:02:05 00:10:02:22 WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS BIG
00:10:02:22 00:10:03:04 CAPITAL PLAN.
00:10:03:04 00:10:07:14 BEFORE THIS, YOU KNOW, DR CRISI
00:10:07:14 00:10:08:25 OCCURRED, THE MTA WAS MAKING.
00:10:08:25 00:10:10:04 SO BIGGEST PLANS THEY HAVE EVER
00:10:10:04 00:10:14:03 MADE TO MODERNIZE THE SUBWAYS.
00:10:14:03 00:10:15:10 NEW SIGNALS ACROSS THE SYSTEM.
00:10:15:10 00:10:17:03 AN ACCESSIBLE STATION WITH
00:10:17:03 00:10:19:24 ELEVATORS EVERY OTHER STOP FOR
00:10:19:24 00:10:20:00 FOLKS.
00:10:20:00 00:10:21:24 JUST INCREDIBLE STUFF THAT
00:10:21:24 00:10:23:10 EVERYONE WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT.
00:10:23:10 00:10:27:10 THE MTA AND VERY MUCH, YOU KNOW,
00:10:27:10 00:10:28:00 THE ADVOCACY COMMUNITY BELIEVED
00:10:28:00 00:10:29:06 THE MTA WAS TURNING A CORNER
00:10:29:06 00:10:31:05 WITH MODERNIZING ITS SYSTEM.
00:10:31:05 00:10:34:23 LIKE YOU SAID, OVER $50 BILLION
00:10:34:23 00:10:36:06 IS NOTHING TO COUGH AT.
00:10:36:06 00:10:37:20 IT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST
00:10:37:20 00:10:39:09 CAPITAL PLANS THEY HAD EVER HAD.
00:10:39:09 00:10:42:04 SO THEY WERE OPTIMISTIC THAT THE
00:10:42:04 00:10:43:27 ECONOMY BWAS GOING TO HUM ALONG
00:10:43:27 00:10:45:06 NICELY AND TAXES WOULD COME IN
00:10:45:06 00:10:47:03 AND THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO FUND
00:10:47:03 00:10:47:15 THIS.
00:10:47:15 00:10:48:23 NOW IT'S ABSOLUTELY UNCERTAIN.
00:10:48:23 00:10:50:18 EVEN BEFORE THIS, CONGESTION
00:10:50:18 00:10:53:05 PRICES, WHICH WE GOT PASSED LAST
00:10:53:05 00:10:55:01 YEAR, WAS SUPPOSED TO GO ONLINE
00:10:55:01 00:10:57:19 THIS COMING DECEMBER/JANUARY.
00:10:57:19 00:10:58:24 THERE IS NO IDEA WHERE THAT
00:10:58:24 00:10:59:03 STANDS NOW.
00:10:59:03 00:11:00:27 BUT IT WAS GOING TO RELY ON A
00:11:00:27 00:11:03:13 LOT OF THAT MONEY TO FUND THESE
00:11:03:13 00:11:03:21 PROJECTS.
00:11:03:21 00:11:05:04 THERE IS THE INTERNET SALES TAX
00:11:05:04 00:11:06:16 WITH THE ECONOMY GOING DOWN.
00:11:06:16 00:11:08:00 IT'S NOT CLEAR HOW MUCH MONEY IS
00:11:08:00 00:11:09:02 GOING TO COME IN ANYMORE.
00:11:09:02 00:11:11:14 ARE THEY GOING TO SCALE IT BACK,
00:11:11:14 00:11:14:12 SCRAP IT?
00:11:14:12 00:11:15:20 WHICH PROJECTS GO FIRST?
00:11:15:20 00:11:17:01 AROUND THE TIME CORONAVIRUS
00:11:17:01 00:11:17:28 FIRST STARTED THERE WAS SORT OF
00:11:17:28 00:11:19:14 A COMMITMENT TO, OH YEAH, WE ARE
00:11:19:14 00:11:20:14 GOING TO KEEP GOING, THIS IS
00:11:20:14 00:11:23:08 STILL GOING TO HAPPEN, THE
00:11:23:08 00:11:23:27 ACCEPTABLE STATIONS ARE STILL
00:11:23:27 00:11:24:14 GOING TO HAPPEN.
00:11:24:14 00:11:25:15 NOW IT'S VERY MUCH UP IN THE
00:11:25:15 00:11:25:26 AIR.
00:11:25:26 00:11:27:12 I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A LOT OF
00:11:27:12 00:11:32:14 UNCERTAINTY AND THE MTA WILL BE
00:11:32:14 00:11:33:02 HOLDING A BOARD MEETING LATER
00:11:33:02 00:11:33:20 THIS WEEK WHERE I THINK THEY
00:11:33:20 00:11:34:10 WILL START TO ADDRESS SOME OF
00:11:34:10 00:11:35:12 THOSE CONCERNS THAT LOT OF FOLKS
00:11:35:12 00:11:35:23 ARE HAVING.
00:11:35:23 00:11:38:11 >> WE HAVE ABOUT 20 SECONDS
00:11:38:11 00:11:38:17 LEFT.
00:11:38:17 00:11:39:13 WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?
00:11:39:13 00:11:41:23 ARE WE GOING TO BE FEELING THE
00:11:41:23 00:11:44:24 EFFECTS OF THIS CORONAVIRUS IN
00:11:44:24 00:11:46:03 THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
00:11:46:03 00:11:49:13 FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO COME?
00:11:49:13 00:11:49:26 >> IT'S VERY LIKELY.
00:11:49:26 00:11:50:21 IT'S VERY LIKELY.
00:11:50:21 00:11:52:00 IF THEY DON'T MAINTAIN THE
00:11:52:00 00:11:53:15 SYSTEM, IF THEY DON'T KEEP IT
00:11:53:15 00:11:54:27 UP, IF THEY DON'T CONTINUE TO
00:11:54:27 00:11:57:11 IMPROVE IT, WE COULD VERY EASILY
00:11:57:11 00:12:02:08 SLIDE BACK TO WHERE WE WERE A
00:12:02:08 00:12:02:26 FEW YEARS AGO WITH BREAKDOWNS
00:12:02:26 00:12:03:16 CONSTANTLY AND WITH THE GENERAL
00:12:03:16 00:12:05:03 PUBLIC AFRAID TO RIDE BECAUSE OF
00:12:05:03 00:12:06:14 CORONAVIRUS FEARS, YOU WILL
00:12:06:14 00:12:08:12 PROBABLY SEE FEWER RIDERS AT A
00:12:08:12 00:12:09:23 TIME WHEN RIDERSHIP WAS JUST
00:12:09:23 00:12:11:13 COMING BACK FROM THE DOLDRUMS
00:12:11:13 00:12:13:00 WHERE IT WAS BEFORE.
00:12:13:00 00:12:14:16 SO WE CAN EXPECT A LOT OF
00:12:14:16 00:12:14:26 UNCERTAINTY.
00:12:14:26 00:12:15:21 >> ALL RIGHT.
00:12:15:21 00:12:17:02 STEVEN, WE WILL BRING YOU BACK
00:12:17:02 00:12:19:24 TO GIVE US UPDATES AS THIS
00:12:19:24 00:12:20:20 CRISIS UNFOLDS.
00:12:20:20 00:12:22:05 THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
00:12:22:05 00:12:22:12 TODAY.
00:12:22:12 00:12:22:12 >> THANKS A LOT FOR HAVING ME.

Funders

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