Affordable Transit

Move NY Statement about Sen. Avella’s News Conference

For immediate release:

Friday, March 13, 2015

For more information, contact: Bart Robbett, 203-571-8502 or bart@robbett.com

Statement about Sen. Avella’s news conference by Move NY

March 13, 2015

Move NY designed its plan from the beginning to help middle- and lower-income residents of Queens and other boroughs. Sen. Avella is simply incorrect when he claims otherwise.

We accomplish that goal by (a) generating the revenue needed to improve our city’s transit system, which is what the vast majority of New York’s lower- and middle-income residents rely on; (b) prioritizing investments in providing transit options for underserved communities; (c) dramatically lowering tolls on the outer MTA bridges that serve many middle-class and poorer neighborhoods; (d) providing targeted fare relief for communities not served by subways; and (e) providing a new source of revenue that will put downward pressure on future toll and fare increases.

Other Queens representatives know the Move NY Fair Plan would benefit their constituents, which is why it is starting to win support from a wide range of elected officials in the borough. Those benefits to Queens residents include:

• Lower tolls on five of six Queens bridges

• 45% toll reductions on the RFK (Triborough) and the two bridges in the senator’s district, the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges

• 48% toll reductions on the Cross Bay and Gil Hodges/Marine Parkway bridges near the district

• Funding for safety and other improvements on the borough’s bridges and roads ($375 million citywide)

• Lower fares for LIRR riders traveling within the city, including those who board in Bayside and other stations in his district

• Increased Express and Select Bus Service for neighborhoods without adequate transit and discounted fares on Express Buses from $6.50 to $5.50

• Expanded ferry service

• More frequent and less crowded subways for hundreds of thousands of Queens riders

Our plan is markedly different from earlier traffic and congestion proposals, which did not adequately address the needs of Queens and other non Manhattan residents. That’s why the leading organizations representing the state’s motorists and truckers—AAA-NY and the New York State Motor Truck Association—support the Move NY plan.

“Sen. Avella’s concern about lock boxing makes no sense,” said Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s Campaign Director. “First, while we fully agree with the importance of lock boxing the revenue that challenge is not unique to Move NY; it applies to any and all new revenues, and however we raise it, we need new revenue. Second, Sen. Avella is Albany, and I’m confident that he and his colleagues can strengthen lockbox provisions if they put their minds to it.”

Here’s what other elected officials and civic group leaders are saying about the Move NY Fair Plan:

Mark Weprin, City Council Member, 23rd District, Queens: “In addition to reducing traffic and air pollution, the Move New York Fair Tolling plan will result in twice as many Eastern Queens residents saving money as paying more,” said Council Member Mark Weprin.

Jose Peralta, State Senator, 13th District, Queens: “Senator Avella is backing the needs of wealthier New Yorkers who drive into Manhattan every single day without paying their fair share to our transit system. I highly encourage Queens residents and all New Yorkers to review the details of the Move NY Plan and the many benefits it would provide for our City. For far too long, tolls on some bridges have grown year after year, while others have seen dwindling maintenance at the cost of a free ride. Under the Move NY Plan, there is greater equity in the costs borne by commuters, as well as a very real chance to improve our transportation infrastructure and reduce traffic for years to come.”

John Corlett, AAA New York: “This plan has definitive benefits for drivers: toll reductions in the outer boroughs and improvements in the roads that go beyond state of good repair.”

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