Affordable Transit

Move NY Coalition Applauds Gov. Cuomo’s Vision

For immediate release:  January 12, 2016

For more information, contact: Lisa Rainwater, lisa AT move-ny.org

Move NY Coalition Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Vision for Bringing MTA into 21st Century

Calls on Governor to Fund MTA Capital Plan with Sustainable and Equitable Revenue Sources

 Move NY Raises $7.3 Billion for Cap Plan and $5.5 Billion for Filling Transit Gaps & Providing Fare Relief

(New York, NY) Today the Move NY Coalition applauded Governor Cuomo’s leadership in vowing to bring New York City’s mass transit network into the 21st century with station rehabilitations, countdown clocks, and a touchless payment system. The Governor’s ambitious infrastructure projects, which include an overhaul of Penn Station, a third track on the Long Island Rail Road, a monorail to La Guardia, and the Gateway Hudson River rail project, will move people around the New York metro region more quickly and easily, stimulating the city’s and state’s economies in the process.

With a price tag of over $100 billion to fund the Governor’s package of upstate and downstate transportation infrastructure improvements, the Move NY coalition is calling on the Governor and State Legislature to create a sustainable revenue stream to meet the New York metro region’s transportation needs by adopting the Move NY Fair Plan.

“The Governor understands that the reliability and accessibility of our transit system are what keeps this city moving, and we applaud him for his commitment to investing in that system,” said Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s Campaign Director. “As with any major public works initiative, the funding needed should come, in part, from the beneficiaries. The toll reform and transit investment program central to the Move NY Fair Plan not only meets that standard but directly addresses the Governor’s laudable vision of a future New York that relies more on mass transit and less on driving. The Move NY Coalition looks forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to advance this forward-looking plan in the upcoming legislative session.”

Through a restructuring of the City’s tolling system (by adding tolls where there’s more traffic and better transit options, and lowering tolls by up to 48% on all MTA bridges where transit access is limited) and introducing a for-hire-vehicle surcharge, the Move NY Fair Plan will generate enough annual revenue to finance, through bonding, the state’s $7.3 billion share of the MTA’s 5-year capital plan gap.

“We applaud Move NY’s plan to identify funding sources to support our city’s needed transportation infrastructure,” says Nancy Ploeger, President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.  “We hope that the state and city legislators seriously consider some of these alternative funding sources while also balancing the needs of NYC residents and business community.”

“In 2016, Governor Cuomo must build on his support for mass transit by supporting Move NY’s Fair Plan,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “This balanced approach to tolling will help New York City fix its aging infrastructure and improve transit service, including to areas without subway service, where working families face punishing commutes. It will also end the ‘bridge shopping’ that brings dangerous traffic, congestion and pollution to neighborhoods around crossings that are currently free of charge.”

“Staten Island residents and businesses pay some of the highest tolls in the nation, and yet have to endure the longest commute times with little or no alternative or mass transit options,” says Linda Baran, President and CEO of Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. The Move NY Plan works to alleviate some of these injustices, and brings balance and equity to our transportation system. We commend the efforts of the Move NY coalition, and look forward to a safer, faster, and fairer network.”

The Move NY plan will establish a $3.5 billion Transit Gap Investment Fund (TGIF), which will expand transit accessibility to the City’s “transit deserts,” including portions of Eastern and Central Queens, South and Central Brooklyn, Staten Island, East Harlem, and the South Bronx.

“For too long, large swaths of the city have had limited and unaffordable access to our mass transit system, forcing folks to jump into cars to get to and from work, school, and shopping,” says Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “The Move NY Fair Plan expands transit access and reduces the cost of traveling on Express Buses and commuter rail, which in turn will encourage more people to get out of their cars. At the end of the day, MOVE NY has always been about giving people more options and more money in their pockets. On top of that, the benefits of reduced congestion and decreased air pollution are especially important in our neighborhoods where high asthma rates and traffic crashes are all too familiar.”

An additional $1 billion will be allocated to the five boroughs based on comparative population and transit access. The funds will be used for local transit accessibility and streetscape improvements in accordance with Vision Zero goals. $700 million will be allocated for enhancing suburban transit service on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley.

“A year ago, New York’s vital subway, bus and commuter rail systems faced a very uncertain future,” says Gene Russianoff, Staff Attorney for the Straphangers Campaign. “But today, with the strong backing and leadership of Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, Albany and New York City will likely adopt a new five-year round of capital funding. In the long run, such investment is essential to a sustainable and prosperous metropolitan area, which is why the Straphangers Campaign is a strong supporter of MNY.”

The Move NY Fair Plan will provide fare relief for users of premium transit services in the city’s transit deserts by cutting Express Bus fares by a dollar: making weeklong the City Ticket discount program for intracity commuter rail and expanding eligibility to all stations; and funding the Freedom Ticket program proposed by the New York City Transit Riders Council, which will allow customers within the city zone to use any MTA mode, be it bus, subway, Express Bus or commuter rail, for a reduced rate.

The Move NY Fair Plan also will establish the first-ever dedicated fund ($375 million annually) to repair and improve the city’s roads and bridges, making travel safer and more affordable for commercial vehicles and those who need a car to get around. With over 40% of City roads in poor condition and just under half its bridges functionally obsolete, New York City drivers pay $633 million each year in additional operating costs due to poor roads and bridges.

“Last week Governor Cuomo laid out an ambitious agenda to solve New York’s infrastructure woes. Now it’s up to Albany to fund these critical projects,” said Nick Sifuentes, Deputy Director of the Riders Alliance. “When it comes to fixing our subways, buses, and commuter rail, there’s an obvious answer: Move NY. If Albany is serious about modernizing the city’s transit infrastructure, it should be serious about passing Move NY.”

Program/Project Funding Amount
MTA Capital Plan (State’s share) $7.3 billion
Transit Gap Reinvestment Fund (TGIF) $3.5 billion
Transit Accessibility & Streetscape Improvements (5 Boroughs) $1 billion
LI/HV Transit Enhancements $700 million
Total Transit Capital Investment (bonded) $12.5 billion

 

   
Expanded Service & Fare Relief (annually) $131.5 million
   
Roads & Bridges (annually) $375 million
   

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