Assemblyman Heastie: Bailout plan will
Saved the subway and bus faresThe 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.
Shared the burdenThe 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.
Reformed the MTATo 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.
Stopped the service cutsService 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:
- Reduction of service on the BX8 bus line
- Elimination of Sunday service on the BX8 bus line
- Restructuring which would result in the elimination of stops and/or the alteration of routes for the BX26, BX28, BX30, BXM7, BXM10, and BX11
- Elimination of late night train service 2-5 a.m. headways increased to 30 minutes on #5 train
- Loading guidelines increased to 125% on evening #5 train causing 1-2 minutes of increased wait time