On Thursday, February 6, 2003, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D/WF—Brooklyn) testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board in opposition to the latest proposal to raise the fare and close token booths across New York City.
“The MTA is unfairly asking commuters to pay more for less service and less security, and New York City is once again not getting its fare share of state aid,” said Millman.
Millman sited key statistics: “Riders pay nearly 60% of the cost of running the subway and bus system, and while our subways and buses move 84% of the state’s transit riders, we only receive 63% of State Aid from Albany. The proposed fare hike is tantamount to a $1.5 billion dollar tax increase on New York’s working families.”
In addition to these statistics, Millman addressed key safety concerns regarding the closing of token booths. “By proposing to close 177 token booths, over 24% of all booths in the City, the MTA is attempting to replace a human presence with a machine. Yet a machine is incapable of acting as the eyes and ears of the subway and ensuring safety, as MTA personnel do.”
Finally, she asked that the MTA work collectively with the Mayor and the Governor to find other ways to generate revenue: “The MTA, Governor Pataki, and Mayor Bloomberg must examine other revenue sources, including reinstating the commuter tax and dedicating it to urban and suburban transit needs.”