March 24, 2009

Statement From Speaker Silver
On Proposed MTA Fare Hikes

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The huge fare increases and massive service cuts proposed by the MTA are unacceptable. We simply cannot ask riders to pay $ 2.50 for a subway ride. People can't afford it and we just can't let it happen.

Let me be clear, the Assembly Majority is ready to pass a plan to save the MTA and prevent a massive fare hike. Our plan would prevent the proposed cuts and fare hikes by sharing the burden of transit costs. Those who use the bridges would pay a toll that is equal to what New Yorkers pay for a subway or a bus ride, and employers would invest in the system through a small payroll tax.

We had hoped that the Senate would support our plan. The Assembly is prepared to act on this proposal to avoid the huge fare increases and draconian service cuts that would have a devastating effect on all New Yorkers.

Every New Yorker and every company that does business here has a stake in the future of the MTA. A safe, efficient and dependable mass transit system is critical to the region's economic health and a major factor in our ability to weather this economic crisis, and attract and retain jobs. During the 1970's fiscal crisis, we stopped investing in the MTA. It was a horrible mistake that had a devastating impact on the city, on the suburbs and on the entire economy. We cannot afford to make that mistake again.