The same day a report came out that partly attributed a rapid rise in M.T.A. costs to a union contract brokered by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Cuomo said he was “not in a position to say whether $800 million in overtime is a lot of money or a little money.”

On Thursday, the right-leaning Empire Center reported that “21,352 out of 76,445 MTA employees were paid more than $100,000, up from 10,482, or one out of seven, during the previous year.”

“The data show the agency paid $849 million in overtime on top of $4.78 billion in regular earnings,” the report continued.

The Center attributed the increase in costs, “in part,” to the Transport Workers Union 2014 contract settlement, the one Cuomo helped broker.

“We will make sure the M.T.A. has all the money they need to operate the system efficiently and effectively,” said Cuomo today, when asked about the overtime costs. “However, we’re not going to throw money at problems either, right? Because there’s only two places the money is going to come from: it’s going to come from either raising taxes on New Yorkers or it’s going to come from raising the cost of the ride. I am slow to do either.”

Cuomo effectively controls the M.T.A., and its fares have gone up five times in the last eight years.

The M.T.A. is also facing a $14 billion capital funding gap. Cuomo has yet to say whether or how he will fill it.

“I’m not just going to accept, ‘I need more money, more money, raise the fares, raise taxes,” said Cuomo. “That’s the last resort, after you’ve tried everything else.’”

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