Access-A-Ride Program Puts NYC, MTA In Budget Brawl

MTA Chairman Pat Foye sent a letter to City Hall asking for an increase in the amount of money they contribute to Access-A-Ride, the paratransit program.

The MTA says the increase is needed to combat the $616 million price tag that is predicted for 2020.

Access-A-Ride cost the MTA just $10 million a year when it took over the federal program in 1994 and had 25,000 riders. This year saw the program transport nearly 106,000 people. Last year New York City contributed $149 million of the $536 million cost.

According to a story published in the New York Post, Chairman Foye asked the city to pay half of next year's projected budget.

"The growth in the program combined with the MTA's current financial situation makes it no longer sustainable for us to shoulder the growing operating expenses," he said.

City Hall spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein answered the MTA's letter with this statement: "Despite being legally responsible for providing paratransit service, the MTA seems to think it's easier to extort New Yorkers for additional funds than to solve their long-term management woes or create a long-term solution."

According to a 1993 agreement, New York City is only responsible for 33 percent of the total program cost.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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