Following A-Train Track Fire, Assemblyman Dinowitz Urges Colleagues to Join Efforts for Comprehensive Transit Funding Reform
New York, New York – After another round of massive train delays from a track fire that left 9 injured on Monday morning, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) again urged fellow legislators and state leaders to support needed reforms in New York State’s transportation funding process. “With every incident like today’s, New Yorkers lose confidence in their transit systems. It is outrageous that 9 people were injured as they tried to get to work, school, tourist destination, or wherever they were trying to go. While I commend Chairman Lhota for taking an exhaustive look at the entire MTA and await his findings at the end of August, we in the Legislature need to make sure that he has the financial resources needed to make the necessary improvements.”
Over the past several weeks, Assemblyman Dinowitz has announced two major reforms to how the State funds our transit infrastructure to address both revenue sources and expenditures. His first proposal would apportion 2% of the existing state personal income tax and dedicate it specifically towards transportation funding to the counties where it originated from. His second proposal would protect any funding that has been allocated for public transportation systems from being diverted without explicit legislative approval. “Many people have great ideas on how to fix our transit system, whether it is upgrading more rapidly to Communications Based Train Control or replacing aging rails and cars. The common thread is that we need more money to be spent on transit infrastructure, and to ensure that this money is being spent appropriately. Too often, the MTA is used as a piggy bank for other state groups to pay off their debts which leaves transit users paying for debts that aren’t theirs.” The MTA currently allocates 18% of operational costs to pay debt service, and a recent NY Post article reported that $4.9 million was transferred without legislative approval directly to the Olympic Regional Development Authority.