New York Daily News

Feds no help in N.Y.-N.J. funding spat


New York and New Jersey are in a spat over mass transit funding, and the feds are steering clear.

The two states, along with Connecticu­t, have $14.2 billion of federal money but can’t agree on how to spend it.

New York State officials want the money distribute­d according to each state’s mass transit operating costs, which makes the share for the Metropolit­an Transporta­tion Authority more than six times bigger than the share for New Jersey.

Both Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy sent letters to Transporta­tion Secretary Pete Buttigieg last month asking the Federal Transit Administra­tion to step in and mediate negotiatio­ns.

But the FTA is not getting involved.

“Federal public transporta­tion law does not give the FTA the authority to make the determinat­ion,” said agency spokesman Steven Taubenkibe­l late last week.

Under relief bills passed by Congress, the $14.2 billion in mass transit relief is to be split among the three states.

The argument by New York officials is based on the MTA’s $17.5 billion annual operating budget, far larger than NJ Transit’s budget of roughly $2.6 billion.

The New Jersey governor said the funding should be split based on previous federal formulas that gave the MTA roughly 16% of the money available nationally, which New York officials have long argued is unfair. The MTA carries roughly 40% of the country’s mass transit riders.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Congress intended for the MTA to receive roughly $10.5 billion from the two bills to cover massive hits from the pandemic.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticu­t must submit to the FTA an agreement to split the funds by Nov. 8 or else be ineligible for a $2.2 billion national pot of money allocated for transit agencies through the American Rescue Plan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States