Despite the 1.4 billion riders on the New York City subway system last year, which generated $1.8 billion in revenues last year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is still facing a $607-million deficit next year and is slated to raise fares for the second time in two years, according to the Feb. 22 New York Newsday story “Subway ridership hits 50 year high.”
Clifton Hood, associate professor of history and an expert on the New York Subway, pointed out the lack of subsidy for the 722-mile long system.
“There's no rapid-transit system in the world that's not subsidized and New York's is less subsidized. That's the central problem,” Hood said. He is the author of “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York.” He is frequently quoted in the New York Times and New York Newsday on various issues related to the subway.
Direct state aid to the MTA's capital program has declined from 19 percent between 1982 and 1986 to zero since 2000, according to recent reports from the Regional Plan Association and State Comptroller Alan Hevesi.