Updated 10/03/2012 12:58 PM
Comptroller Says MTA On Right Financial Track
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State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said Tuesday that the MTA is on the right track when it comes to strengthening its finances.
DiNapoli looked at the agency's finances over the past two years.
He said ridership is at its highest level in more than 60 years, with more than 1.5 billion riders in 2011.
But the agency's borrowing is also going up, along with its budget gap.
It's expected to be nearly $1.5 billion by 2016.
"We've seen some improvement in the financial picture for the MTA but risks remain," DiNapoli said. "Certainly, when you consider how important is the need to have public transportation of a high quality and easily accessible and affordable to the people of New York. We need to keep a close eye on what the MTA is doing."
Meantime, the MTA plans to raise fares and tolls by seven percent next year and another seven percent in 2015 -- three times the rate of inflation.
That adds up to a 35 percent increase since 2007.
Riders who spoke with NY1 were not happy.
"Everytime you turn around the prices are going up. Our wages aren't going up, so I don't understand how they can say they can increase fare if our incomes aren't going up, it makes no sense at all," said one straphanger.
DiNapoli said the proposed fare hikes should help the agency chip away at its debt.
The MTA said it's also expecting billions more in tax revenue in the future.