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Giuliani Capital Plan: Transport Spending Defies Reality

by Daniel Convissor
May 18, 1994

The Giuliani Administration says budgetary constraints require a 52% cut in MTA capital assistance. This cut takes place while the administration proposes to increase the entire City capital program by 14% and the DOT program by 18%. This blatant bias defies reality. New York City's economy and environment depend on the subways and buses, but the City would rather lavishly support the roadways. Below, I explain the problems with the Mayor's FY '94-'03 Ten Year Capital Plan and I generate two new spending proposals to improve New York's mobility.

The Mayor's proposal puts transit spending at an all time low. The MTA will only account for 4% of the City's capital commitments, though historically it received twice that. While

=================================================================
MTA & DOT AS PORTION OF CITY'S COMMITMENT


FIRST CAPITAL PROGRAM PERIOD        MTA        DOT    Citywide
City Commitments for Agency     $717 m.  $1,602 m.   $9,580 m.
Percent of City's Commitments        7%        17%        100%


SECOND CAPITAL PROGRAM PERIOD       MTA        DOT    Citywide
City Commitments for Agency   $1,997 m.  $2,794 m.  $20,098 m.
Percent of City's Commitments       10%        14%        100%



THIRD PERIOD (GIULIANI PLAN)       MTA         DOT    Citywide
City Commitments for Agency     $958 m.  $3,283 m.  $22,823 m.
Percent of City's Commitments        4%        14%        100%

THIRD PERIOD (MTA REQUEST)          MTA        DOT    Citywide
City Commitments for Agency   $1,688 m.  $2,553 m.  $22,823 m.
Percent of City's Commitments        7%        11%        100%

THIRD PERIOD (EQUAL DIVISION)       MTA        DOT    Citywide
City Commitments for Agency   $2,121 m.  $2,121 m.  $22,823 m.
Percent of City's Commitments        9%         9%        100%
=================================================================

the increase in DOT spending outpaces inflation, the City's allocations for the MTA don't keep up. The administration's proposal gives the MTA only 23% of transportation dollars, far below its usual share.
========================================
| PAST CAPITAL COMMITMENTS             |
|                                      |
| First Capital Program Period         |
| MTA              $717 m.  31%        |
| DOT            $1,602 m.  69%        |
| -------------------------------      |
| Transportation $2,319 m. 100%        |
|                                      |

| Second Capital Program Period        |
| MTA            $1,997 m.  42%        |
| DOT            $2,794 m.  58%        |
| -------------------------------      |
| Transportation $4,791 m. 100%        |
========================================

========================================
| THIRD CAPITAL PROGRAM PERIOD         |
|                                      |
| Administration's Proposal            |
| The Giuliani Ten Year Plan           |
| MTA              $958 m.  23%        |
| DOT            $3,283 m.  77%        |
| -------------------------------      |
| Transportation $4,241 m. 100%        |
|                                      |
| Proposal One                         |
| Meeting MTA Request                  |
| MTA            $1,688 m.  40%        |
| DOT            $2,553 m.  60%        |
| -------------------------------      |
| Transportation $4,241 m. 100%        |
|                                      |
| Proposal Two                         |
| Equally Dividing Transport Spending  |
| MTA            $2,121 m.  50%        |
| DOT            $2,121 m.  50%        |
| -------------------------------      |
| Transportation $4,241 m. 100%        |
========================================

I put forth the following two proposals to stimulate informed discussion and action. These proposals spend the same amount on transportation as the Ten-Year Plan, but divide it between the DOT and MTA in a different manner. Proposal One meets the MTA's $1,688 million request for their Third Capital Program and gives the remainder to the DOT. The MTA's request is a reasonable one, asking for a 15% reduction while the DOT is cut only 9%. Proposal Three equally divides the transportation pie, yielding a 6% increases for the MTA but a 24% cut in DOT commitments.
==========================================================
CHANGE BETWEEN CAPITAL PERIODS
          
                                MTA           DOT
Second                    $1,997 m.     $2,794 m.
Third (Financial Plan)      $958 m.     $3,283 m.
-------------------------------------------------------
Change                   ($1,039 m.)      $489 m.
                               (52%)          18%
          
                               MTA            DOT
Second                   $1,997 m.      $2,794 m.
Third (MTA Request)      $1,688 m.      $2,553 m.
-------------------------------------------------------
Change                    ($309 m.)      ($241 m.)
                              (15%)          (9%)
          
                               MTA            DOT
Second                   $1,997 m.      $2,794 m.
Third (Equal Division)   $2,121 m.      $2,121 m.
-------------------------------------------------------
Change                     $124 m.       ($673 m.)
                               6%            (24%)
          

All Projects in City Capital Program
Second                   $20,098 m.
Third (Financial Plan)   $22,823 m.
---------------------------------------
Change                    $2,725 m.
                                14%
============================================================

The Giuliani administration's autocentric bias will hurt New York City. Transit has tremendous advantages over roadways: The City Council, the Mayor and the Office of Management and Budget must make a budget that meets or exceeds the MTA's $1,688 million funding request if we want to bolster the economy and attain compliance with environmental regulations, thus, improving quality of life for all New Yorkers.


TECHNICAL NOTE: This analysis groups spending into three five year blocks, matching the MTA's first three Capital Programs. The First Period is City Fiscal Years '83-'87, the Second is FY 88-'92 while the Third is FY '93-'97. Figures for FY's '83-93 are actual commitments, as recorded in the Year End edition of the Monthly Transaction Analysis while FY's '94-'97 are projections from the new Ten Year Capital Plan. Commitments are contracts registered, committing the city to pay the cost when the services contracted for are rendered.


 


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