Although the MTA is facing a less dismal financial future than expected, the amount of money it’s borrowing is an “absolute ticking time bomb,” according to one board member.
Under the budget unveiled Wednesday, the MTA is seeking billions in loans over the next several years, in addition to slashing expenses and hoping to freeze employee wages. It also calls for bi-annual fare increases in 2013 and 2015.
While MTA Vice Chairman Andrew Saul praised its financial officers for finding ways to balance the budget, he warned it was still risky.
“We need to watch this debt time bomb because it is going to become a major problem in the future. No question about it.”
But outgoing Chairman Jay Walder said the agency could handle the proposed debt, adding that his successor “would have to be encouraged by the change in our financial situation, by this fragile stability we’ve now achieved.”
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the MTA formally approved deals to bring an Apple Store and Shake Shack to Grand Central Terminal.