Cuomo Says MTA Changes Will Be His Top Priority in 2019

(Bloomberg) -- New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees state and city commuter transit, needs a cultural and bureaucratic overhaul to reduce costs to the point where the state can afford it, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

While the Democrat favors congestion-pricing fees on cars entering Manhattan, it won’t bring enough revenue, Cuomo said during a radio interview with WNYC. He’s against subway-fare increases and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for a millionaires tax, saying the legislature opposes it. Changing the agency will be his top priority in 2019, said Cuomo, 60, reelected to a third term Nov. 6.

The state agency, which operates mass transit, commuter rail and bridges and tunnels, says it needs about $40 billion just to fix and maintain its subways over the next 10 to 15 years. Recommendations to change MTA’s management and work rules are due next month from a governor-appointed commission. But proposals to change work rules could create a rift between Cuomo and a political ally, the Transport Workers Union.

“There is waste, there is inefficiency,” Cuomo said of the state agency he’s overseen for eight years. “They need to reform the way they do business.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.