“The Legislature and Governor Paterson are to be commended for taking action to
avoid catastrophe and keep critical construction projects going,”
Robert Yaro, president, Regional Plan Association, and co-chair, Empire State Transportation Alliance
“The MTA bailout is good news for transit riders. It will halve the proposed fare hike,
shelve awful service cuts and provide funds for two years of transit rebuilding projects,”
Gene Russianoff, staff attorney, New York State Public Interest Research Group Straphangers Campaign
“The inclusion of two years of capital funding is vitally important to transit riders and our
regional economy and should not be underappreciated…”
Kate Slevin, executive director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
The MTA proposed sky-high fare hikes at a time when riders are already financially strapped. We prevented the 32 percent increase in fares—instead, commuters can expect a greatly reduced 10 percent increase.
We fund two years of capital projects, including vital transit and commuter rail maintenance and modernization projects, and do not add new tolls on bridges that are currently not tolled.
The budget crisis facing the MTA is a regional problem—we needed to ensure that the burden to make our transit system whole was shared by everyone, not just riders. The compromise we achieved protects services and limits fare increases by instituting:
an employer-paid payroll tax in the 12 counties served by the MTA;
a 50-cent surcharge on taxi rides;
a $25 annual increase in vehicle-registration fees in the MTA region;
a 5 percent increase in the auto-rental tax in the MTA region;
a $16 increase in 8-year driver license fees in the MTA region—or a $2 increase per year; and
delayed future increases—fares and tolls will rise again by 7.5 percent in both 2011 and 2013.
To ensure the future of New York’s transportation system, we require an overhaul of MTA operations. Gone are the days when board members are appointed regardless of their expertise. We institute a transparent process and long-term fiscal responsibility to root out MTA financial mismanagement. We also create a public input office where riders can voice their thoughts and concerns about transit projects and service.
Service cuts under the MTA’s plan included eliminating local bus routes, slashing weekend and late night service, closing many subway stations overnight, and completely eliminating some subway lines. For many of us, mass transit is the only way to get to work, the supermarket, place of worship, school, or doctor.
The Assembly stopped the following cuts and eliminations:
Elimination of bus lines BX8, BX14, and BXM7B (City Island Express Bus)
“The MTA’s plan to cut services and impose sky-high fare hikes was not acceptable. It would have been a burden for everyone—especially subway and bus riders. That’s why I voted for the MTA bailout plan—to keep our transit system affordable and reliable.”
Assemblyman Michael R. Benedetto
Michael R. Benedetto
3369 E. Tremont Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461