MTA Chairman Janno Lieber visited Union Square station Friday, celebrating a budget deal in Albany that gives the transit agency a long-term bailout and extra money for more subway service.

“I said we cannot have our riders wondering whether the frequency is going to be there, whether the subway is going to be there, whether the buses are going to be there, commuter rails,” he said. “We have to solve the problem and solve it in the long run.”

And that extra service, good news to riders who want to see subway service get better.

What You Need To Know

  • The budget deal in Albany balances the MTA's budget, avoiding the need for deep service cuts and higher-than-planned fare hikes

  • The deal also includes funding for the MTA to run more trains on nights and weekends

  • The deal includes a two-year pilot for five free bus routes

Josh Samton, a commuter, told NY1 what he wants to see from the MTA: “if there were ways it could run more efficiently, if the trains could run on time, a little but more quickly a few more trains, and be somewhat cleaner.”

On a good day, the MTA is still missing about a quarter of the subway passengers it used to handle before the pandemic.

Without that revenue and federal pandemic funds that are drying up, the MTA threatened to deeply cut service and raise fares higher than usual.

“We’re not cutting services. We’re not curtailing investments in this critical piece of infrastructure,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday night announcing the deal.

Under the budget deal, the MTA gets more than a billion dollars from a hike in payroll taxes for large New York City businesses.

Plus, a one-time $300 million payment to the MTA and making New York City give the MTA $165 million a year for Access-A-Ride transit for people with disabilities.

The state is also giving the MTA $65 million to trim down an upcoming fare hike that was supposed to hit $2.90 a swipe. Now it could be $2.86, though it’s unclear when it will take effect because of the late budget in Albany. The MTA has to hold public hearings over fare hikes and its board members have to approve them.

The budget also includes funding to run more trains on nights and weekends.

And in a two-year pilot, the MTA will try out free bus service, expected to be for one route in each borough.