The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled a beggar's budget yesterday that threatens draconian service cuts and fare and toll increases if it doesn't get help from the city, state and federal governments. In order to close a $1.2 billion gap in 2009, the MTA would reduce staff and cut subway lines and bus routes as well as hiking tolls and fares to yield an additional 23% of revenue.

MTA executive director and chief executive officer Elliot Sander called on the state legislature to implement the forthcoming recommendations of a state commission headed by former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch to prevent or lessen the cuts and fare increases.

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