State agencies’ proposed and actual budgets must balance each year. RIOC is no exception. For the coming fiscal year, they balanced a miracle budget with money from a vast increase in Tram ridership. That’s right, the overloaded, rocking and wobbling cabins, RIOC says, will welcome over 50% more riders next year.
by David Stone
RIOC’s Miracle Budget
“RIOC’s Proposed Budget FY 2024‐25 projects revenues of $39,155,275, an increase of $4,875,275 or
14.22%,” the proposed budget narrative says. And You Know Who will pay for it.
It’s another massive drag on residents’ resources, but the most dazzling piece shows up in how they say they’ll pay for about half the increase. That is, they’ll cram more riders into the Tram cabins.
Tramway revenues are projected to increase by $2,455,439 or 53.06% mainly due to the adoption of OMNY and ridership increase. Innovative solutions must be found, and we’re here to help.
In the current fiscal year, RIOC expects a total of $4,628,173 in Tram revenue. But for next year, that number soars to $7,083,439.
A conscientious reader might imagine that a better revenue-sharing deal with the MTA is part of it. But no, depriving the MTA of the $100,000+ they steal every month is not in the calculations.
Finally, RIOC’s deep thinkers must consider shelving as a way of better utilizing space. If it works in the bus garage, why not on the Tram?
We’re confident that RIOC’s brainy management team can come up with even better solutions. So, we’re looking forward to the fun of the year ahead and seeing tourists side-boarding on the Tram cabins or snugly getting to know each other while stacked like logs with strangers
Then, they’ll know how Roosevelt Islanders have felt the last few years.