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Transportation, fiscal experts concerned about how agency will pay for capital plan

October 07, 2019 / Alfonso A. Castillo

The Metropolitan Transportation Authoritys recent efforts to improve service and upgrade its aging infrastructure comes with a steep price tag for the agency, whose own chairman repeatedly has described the MTA's financial situation as "dire.From a newly proposed $51.5 billion five-year capital plan to an annual $16.8 billion operating budget to alarmingly high rates of overtime and debt, the MTA’s recent proposed spending spree has raised concerns among transportation and financial experts, who are dubious of the agency’s plans to pay its bills.I think they're overly optimistic. They're painting a very rosy picture of their financial sources," said Larry Penner, a transportation historian, writer and advocate who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration for 31 years. Their financial plan is pretty wimpy, to be frank. It’s based on a lot of assumptions. And if the economy goes downhill, you are not going to get the same kind of re...