Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Transportation Chair David Gantt and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Chair Amy Paulin today announced that the Assembly budget proposal invests $10.5 billion in the state's transportation network. New measures will address current and future capital needs by establishing dedicated revenue streams to prioritize safety and service reliability in transit systems across the state.
"New York is home to one of the hardest working transportation networks in the world," said Heastie. "By establishing a comprehensive and sustainable plan for future capital needs, we can ensure the availability of resources to meet these costs."
"This budget recognizes that our transportation infrastructure needs more than a one-time payment to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and the millions of tourists who visit the state each year," said Gantt. "Without a dedicated plan or a clear path forward, we will continue to face challenges caused by aging bridges and roadways, aging transit fleets and impaired service delivery and reliability. This budget lays out a comprehensive and sustainable approach to meeting current and future transportation demands."
"The transportation solutions offered in this budget proposal are both comprehensive and responsive to the challenges facing New Yorkers around the state," said Paulin. "It is critical that aging transit systems have a sustainable funding stream in order to remain in safe and reliable working order. With these investments, we can keep residents, workers and families moving efficiently throughout our state."
Recognizing the tremendous capital and operating costs of the state's public transportation network, the Assembly budget commits an additional $536 million to support necessary investments in the MTA and other transit systems throughout the state, nearly $500 million of which is dedicated to the MTA. These revenues would be derived through a new Transit Sustainability Proposal that includes a per-trip surcharge on for-hire vehicle and taxi rides within newly designated travel zones. It also includes a progressive real estate transfer tax structure on residential and commercial properties valued over $5 million and a new NYC Real Estate "Flipping" Tax on 1-5 family homes that are not primary residences of the owner and are sold within two years of their purchase.
In addition to overall system maintenance, revenues would be directed to support the MTA commuter rail lines and non-MTA transit systems statewide. Additionally, the new funding would support specific regional projects and programs, including:
To promote transparency and accountability the Assembly plan:
The Assembly budget would establish a bipartisan workgroup comprised of executive, legislative and local representatives to make recommendations on the actions and measures needed to provide safe, adequate and reliable transportation within the City of New York and the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. The workgroup would be required to submit its recommendations to the governor and representatives in state and local government by December 31, 2018.
To support suburban and upstate transportation needs, the Assembly budget dedicates $335 million to non-MTA downstate transit systems and $221.5 million to upstate transit systems. The plan also allocates $519.9 million for the Consolidated Highway Imrpovement Program, in addition to $100 million for the Pave NY program, which is distributed through the CHIPs formula. Since all revenues derived from the Transit Sustainability Proposal remain in the region in which they are generated, the Assembly plan would create an additional $48 million for non-MTA transit systems and the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program.
Other transportation investments in the Assembly spending plan include a $20 million increase for a total $104.5 million in support for non-MTA downstate and upstate transit capital projects, as well as $3 million to upgrade diesel train engines to meet higher emissions standards.