Embattled MTA Should Suspend Fare Hikes, Says Congressman Nadler

Apr 22, 2003

NEW YORK -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to suspend plans for a hike in fares, until an immediate independent investigation can determine the extent to which MTA may have been engaged in fraudulent accounting.

"I agree with those that say an independent commission needs to take a look into the MTA books, in light of the information that has come out today," said Rep. Nadler. "But they must also suspend all plans for fare increases, which seem to have been based on falsified numbers, until a commission can determine if any sort of increase is needed. Transit riders should not bear the burden for MTA's lies."

New York State Comproller Alan Hevesi is announcing today that the MTA kept two sets of accounting records -- a false one for public release, which showed a deficit, and one for internal use, which showed a surplus. The public records were used as rationale for an increase in fares. In March the MTA approved an increase for subway and bus fares to $2, the highest in the country, along with increases to commuter rail tickets and bridge and tunnel tolls.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) has called for an immediate investigation by a Moreland Act Commission.

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.