Affordable Transit

Deputy Leader, Council Member James Vacca Endorses Move NY Fair Plan

For immediate release: 

Monday, March 16, 2015

For more information, contact:

Bart Robbett, 203-571-8502, bart@robbett.com

Jeremy House, Council Member Vacca’s Press Secretary, 646-596-3338, jhouse@council.nyc.gov

Deputy Leader, Council Member James Vacca Endorses Move NY Fair Plan

Bronx Residents to see EZ-Pass Tolls Cut by up to 45% on Every Tolled Bridge: Throgs Neck, Whitestone,

Triboro/RFK and Henry Hudson Bridges

Plan Will Reduce Fares on Express Bus Service and Fund Four New MetroNorth Stations in Eastern Bronx

(New York, NY) Today, Deputy Leader, Council Member James Vacca (13th District, Bronx), the former Chair of the Transportation Committee, joined regional business associations, trade unions, clergy, civic leaders, transportation and environmental advocates, good-governance organizations, and other elected officials in announcing his endorsement of the Move NY Fair Plan.

“The Move NY Fair Plan just makes sense! Enough is enough. We have gridlock on all roads leading into Manhattan; the MTA is experiencing higher ridership while MTA services are declining; and as of March 22nd the tolls on our bridges and tunnels and MTA fares are going up, again” said Deputy Leader and former Chair of the Transportation Committee, Council Member James Vacca. “Move NY will impose tolls for those using their cars to enter Manhattan below 60th Street, and in turn the plan will reduce the tolls on the Throgs Neck, Whitestone, RFK (Triboro), and Henry Hudson Bridges. The plan will also decrease the fares on express buses and will provide over a billion dollars to the MTA to improve train service, increase capacity on train lines, and develop other transportation alternatives. The plan put forth is a well thought out transportation policy and it represents an opportunity for discussion and a course of action that will address the city’s gridlock and the high price of tolls and MTA fares that significantly affect outer borough residents. For these reasons, I am proud to support the Move NY plan and call on my colleagues in government to endorse the plan and help enact it into law.”

“Councilman Vacca’s strong endorsement of Move NY is a win for his Bronx constituents and a win for our effort to build broad public and political support for the plan,” says Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s Campaign Director. “As the City Council’s former transportation council chair, Councilman Vacca understands well the many problems our transportation system faces and the importance of solving them. We hope that the leadership he has exhibited with an endorsement of the Move NY Plan will spread to his colleagues in the Bronx and around the city and state. We look forward to working with him and other elected officials to put in place a plan that can help solve a number of problems that have vexed New Yorkers for decades and transform our transportation system into one that rivals that of the world’s other great cities.”

Vacca, who chaired the New York City Council Transportation Committee during his second term in office, has represented the Bronx communities of Throgs Neck, Country Club, City Island, Pelham Bay, Morris Park, and Pelham Parkway since 2006. The Move NY Fair Plan’s reduction of EZ-Pass tolls by 45% on the Throgs Neck, Whitestone and Triboro Bridges, 39% on the Henry Hudson Bridge, and fare reduction of the express bus, will have definitive economic benefits for Vacca’s constituents who travel back and forth between the Bronx and Queens.

“Councilmember Vacca has repeatedly shown leadership when it comes to advancing issues that directly affect his constituents,” says Bill Stanton, President of the of the City Island Civic Association, which joined the Move NY coalition in February. “His endorsement of the Move NY Fair Plan will help convince other elected officials that we need a 21st century transportation plan, a plan that lowers tolls in our area while providing billions for mass transit improvements that are sorely needed throughout our community and the region.”

If adopted by the NYS legislature and the governor, the Move NY Fair Plan will raise $1.5 billion annually, and when bonded, would close the $15 billion MTA funding gap for its (2015-2019) 5-year Capital Plan. These sustainable, much-needed revenues could be used to make major investments in maintaining and modernizing our mass transit system and road network, including one of the main capital projects supported by the governor and proposed in the MTA’s 2015-2019 5-year Capital Plan: the MetroNorth “Penn Access” line.

Eddie Bautista, executive director of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, an early endorser of the MNY plan, noted the importance of this project to Bronx residents, “We applaud Councilman Vacca for endorsing the Move NY plan. Many people in the Bronx are still burdened with lack of fast, safe, and fair transportation options. The Penn Access line would offer rapid transit options to folks in Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester, and Hunts Point — and under the Move NY plan reduced fares would go a long way toward making rapid transit into Manhattan more affordable.”

Former NYC Traffic Commissioner, “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, designed the Move NY plan with the intention of making it fair for everyone. “We spent four years talking with elected officials, community and civic groups, the business community, and everyone in between throughout the five boroughs,” Schwartz says. “What we learned was quite simple: New Yorkers want a faster, safer, fairer transportation system. Our plan will reduce grinding traffic jams and speed up transit rides, disincentivize heavy traffic spilling onto our neighborhood streets, and bring toll equity to commuters and businesses alike. What’s not to like?”

Specific benefits to Bronx residents include:

  • 100% of tolled Bronx bridges will see reduced tolls
    • 45% EZ-Pass Toll Reduction on Triboro/RFK, Whitestone, & Throgs Neck
    • 39% EZ-Pass Toll Reduction on the Henry Hudson
  • No tolls on Harlem River bridges
  • Metro-North “City Ticket” extended to 7 days a week, with fare within city limits slashed to $6.25 peak/$4.25 off-peak
  • More Express Bus service
  • Express Bus fares reduced from $6.50 to $5.50
  • More frequent and less crowded subway trains
  • New Metro-North “Penn Access” line with four new stations in the East Bronx
  • Expanded ferry service
  • Continued extension of Second Avenue subway into Northern Manhattan and the Bronx

Information regarding the Move NY Fair Plan, including the finalized version of the plan itself, can be found at www.iHeartMoveNY.org.

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