The Port Authority’s utterly mismanaged World Trade Center project has managed to ring up cost overruns of $4 billion in the past four years, according to a scathing audit of the bistate agency released last week. That means the World Trade Center will cost $15 billion—the project’s cost was estimated at $11 billion in 2008. Auditors said that “poor management” at the agency had “obscured full awareness of the billions of dollars” in overruns.
It’s a sad commentary on the PA and government in general that Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn’t seem upset by this scandalous waste. “That’s just part of the way the world works, and I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with it,” he said.
Tell that to motorists who have been socked with outrageous toll hikes on Port Authority bridges and tunnels.
ALBANY—State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, the chair of the chamber's transportation committee, had to think for a minute when asked just now if action to help bridge the M.T.A.'s deficit was on the back burner.
"I think the budget bill is the priority," he said, before emphasizing that negotiations are still ongoing. He Read More
ALBANY—Most Democratic state senators have spent the day defending themselves from reporters asking if they feel responsible for the M.T.A. fare hikes. The answers are variations on it's not our fault and the M.T.A. should have worked with us.
State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, the chairman of his chamber's transportation committee, told me Read More
ALBANY—Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver just said any M.T.A. fare hike is "unacceptable" and is pointing blame toward Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
In a statement emailed to reporters Silver wrote:
"Let me be clear, the Assembly Majority is ready to pass a plan to save the MTA and prevent a massive fare hike. Read More
ALBANY—About forty hours before the M.T.A. board will vote on whether to adopt a "doomsday budget" (unless state lawmakers enact a revenue package), Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith left a closed-door meeting with the other members of the state government troika. He had no good news.
"I'm not saying the deadline is of Read More
ALBANY—It seems that Malcolm Smith and the Senate Democrats have come up with a plan that's easy to hate.
Transportation advocates, business groups and the governor are all taking shots at the Senate majority leader's just-announced plan to address the M.T.A.'s budget shortfall.
Near as I can tell, Wiley Norvell of Transportation Read More
ALBANY—Democrats in the State Senate finally have a plan they say will plug the M.T.A.'s current $1.2 billion operating deficit with a payroll tax and four percent fare increase, but does not address the authority's long-term spending needs.
"It deals with their short-term challenge on operation, and we will deal with Read More
ALBANY—Here's a group of state senators–many of whom opposed bridge tolls–getting ready to present their own M.T.A. plan, which does not have tolls.
For the truly devoted: NY1 is carrying the event live.
ALBANY—Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is unrolling a plan to bail out the M.T.A. that does not include any bridge tolls, scraps plans for a regional bus authority and calls for a payroll tax that's lower than the one in other proposed M.T.A. plans the commuter tax, a source familiar with the framework Read More
ALBANY—After two weeks of public hemming and hawing on the issue of the M.T.A. bailout, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith will present a plan to members this afternoon to plug the M.T.A.'s deficit, sources say.
Sources involved in formulating plan with Senate leadership said that central staffers worked on the plan all weekend, Read More