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Assemblywoman
Catherine Nolan
Assembly District 37
Chair, Education Committee
Nolan Blasts MTA for Considering Fare Increases
February 4, 2003

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan today criticized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for considering a fare hike that would mean a $1.5 billion tax increase on New Yorkís working families.

"The MTA Board, which is controlled by the Governor, is proposing a fare increase that wold take money directly out of the pockets of working families at a time when our economy is struggling," said Nolan. "The Governorís appointees are raising taxes that make it harder for families to live in New York."

Nolan noted the MTA is considering three options that would raise bus and subway tolls to as much as $2, increase commuter rail fares and bridge and tunnel tolls, and impose a $1 E-Z Pass fee for using bridges and tunnels. The MTA is also weighing service cuts, including:

New York City Transit:

  • Slashing weekend bus and subway service 10 percent
  • Reducing weekday service 2 percent; and
  • Reducing cleaners 15 percent

Long Island Railroad:

  • Eliminating 11 peak and 11 off-peak trains;
  • Closing ticket windows and waiting rooms; and
  • Cutting cleaning

Metro-North

  • Slicing 11 peak and shoulder trains;
  • Closing ticket offices or reducing hours;
  • Cutting cleaning

"People depend on public transportation to get to work and support their families," said Assemblywoman Nolan. "Itís blatantly unfair to ask people to pay more and get less convenient, poorer quality service."

The proposed MTA hike comes in the wake of a plan by the Governorís State University of New York Board of Trustees to raise tuition by 41 percent, or $1,400 a year for New York undergraduate students. The proposed increase, to take effect this fall, would add up to a $1.7 billion tax hike on working families when combined with the fare increase. To make a bad situation even worse, the Governor is also considering a proposal to cut the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in half.

Assemblywoman Nolan said denying our students a quality higher education and making it harder for New Yorkers to get to their jobs wonít solve our stateís budget problems. "I will work to see that the burden of our stateís fiscal crisis isnít shifted onto the backs of our children and working families," said Nolan.

 
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