For immediate release: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
For more information, contact:
Bart Robbett, 203-571-8502, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lacey Tauber, Office of Council Member Antonio Reynoso, 212-788-7095 (o), 646-530-4875 (c)
Matt Ojala, Office of Council Member Stephen Levin, 212-788-7348
North Brooklyn Council Members Reynoso and Levin Endorse Move NY Fair Plan
North Brooklyn Residents to See Overcrowding Relief on the L Line
Plan Will Fund New Street-Level Entrances & Reduce Fares on Express Bus Service
(New York, NY) Today, New York City Council Members Antonio Reynoso (34th District, Brooklyn and Queens) and Stephen Levin (33rd District, Brooklyn) announced their endorsement of the Move NY Fair Plan.
Their announcement comes a week after thirteen State and City elected officials called for a Full-Line Review of all MTA subway lines to be funded by the Move NY Fair Plan.
The plan, released in February and designed by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz after years of gathering community input, is a comprehensive approach to funding roads, bridges, and mass transit in the New York metropolitan region.
It has been endorsed by five regional newspaper editorial boards, regional business associations, trade unions, clergy, civic leaders, transportation and environmental advocates, good-governance organizations, and elected officials throughout the region.
“The MTA is currently in a dire state when it comes to funding, and my community desperately needs updates to its public transportation systems, especially with the recent and coming increase in population,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “The Move NY Fair Plan helps address MTA’s budget deficit, while promoting sustainable transportation alternatives.”
Council Member Stephen Levin said, “New Yorkers depend on having a high quality, reliable transportation system and we need to do everything we can to provide needed funding and make improvements. The Move NY Fair Plan will benefit the communities I represent in North Brooklyn, addresses critical issues to improve the system as a whole, and I am proud to support the Plan.”
“We are thrilled to have Council Members Reynoso and Levin join the movement to Move NY,” said Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s Campaign Director.
“More trains, less crowding on platforms and subways, and additional Express Bus Service are just a few of the ways straphangers will benefit from the Move NY Plan. The councilmen’s support is evidence that when elected officials bother to take the time to study the plan, they realize it represents a big win for their driving and transit-riding constituents. We hope that their thoughtful approach will inspire their colleagues in government to follow their lead and add their voices to a growing chorus of supporters. Our transportation infrastructure is too important to just ignore,” Matthiessen concludes.
Reynoso took office in 2012 and serves on the New York City Council Transportation Committee. His district includes Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Ridgewood in Queens. Levin, who also serves on the committee, took office in 2010 representing the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Under the Move NY Fair Plan, traffic would be greatly reduced by eliminating “bridge shopping,” whereby drivers seek free crossing into Lower Manhattan to avoid tolled crossings designed to handle heavy vehicular transportation. Residents will benefit from lower emissions, cleaner air, and safer pedestrian zones in the neighborhoods surrounding the East River Bridges, all three of which lie in Councilman Levin’s district.
“Allowing New York City to be the gridlock capital of America while its public transit system crumbles is unconscionable,” said Steve Hindy, President of Brooklyn Brewery, located in Williamsburg. This is a fair plan that would ease congestion in and around the Central Business District, rationalize the cost of using the region’s bridges, and upgrade the city’s mass transit system.”
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 $14 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 Plan: the Metro-North “Penn Access” line.
“UPROSE applauds Council Members Reynoso and Levin for making the transit needs of Brooklynites a priority,” says Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE. “MTA fares continue to rise and yet there are large portions of Brooklyn that still struggle with limited service, overcrowding, and an inability to be prepared for future super storms like Sandy. The Move NY Fair Plan delivers revenue to communities that need it most. We urge our state representatives to pass legislation to secure our transit future.”
“As a native Brooklynite,” said Sam Schwartz of Sam Schwartz Engineering, “I know far too well the difficulties of getting from A to B in many areas of the borough. Just try to get from Dumbo to Greenpoint or Williamsburg to Brooklyn Bridge Park. It could take more than an hour by existing transit. Fuhgedabout the L even at 3 in the morning! We need good planning and more transit and that takes money. Move NY will provide the funding needed to add trains and bus service as well as redesign stations to handle the masses of people traveling in and out of the area.”
Specific benefits for Northern Brooklyn residents include:
- Additional trains during peak and non-peak hours on the JZ, QN, G, L, and C lines
- Retrofitting subway stations (more spacious platforms, new street-level entrances)
- Overcrowding on the L line will be relieved with new ferry service, additional Express Bus routes, and discounted tickets on the LIRR for New York City residents
- Computer-Based-Train-Control installed on the EMFR lines in Queens and the BDFM lines on 6th Avenue will also reduce ridership on the L
- Increased frequency and connectivity on the B24 between Greenpoint and Sunnyside and the B43 between Brooklyn and Greenpoint
- Bus shelter improvements
- Streetscape improvements
- Added Express Bus Service
- Bike & pedestrian infrastructure improvements
Brooklyn Facts & Benefits Sheet
Information regarding the Move NY Fair Plan, including the finalized version of the plan itself, can be found at www.iHeartMoveNY.org.