Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez Says No to Fare Hikes and Yes to Alternative Funding Streams Like the Move NY Fair Plan
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) chief financial officer, Robert E. Foran announced that MTA officials are planning to raise base fares for subway and bus riders in 2019 and 2021 to help pay for the MTA’s MTA Moving Forward Plan. The plan aims to expedite the replacement of the subway’s signaling systems, increase communications, and improve response time to subway emergencies. The announcement comes weeks after Governor Cuomo ordered Chairman Joseph Lhota to provide a reorganization plan for the authority, and after he signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for New York City subways.
Raising base fares for subway and bus riders are not the solution to funding the MTA’s aging infrastructure problems. Rather, lawmakers should pass the Move NY (A9633B/S8089) proposal as an alternative source of revenue for the MTA. In essence, Move NY would charge a toll on Manhattan’s four East River bridges in addition to vehicles crossing 60th Street in Manhattan, while reducing congestion. In addition, Move NY seeks to reduce congestion primarily in Manhattan and various parts of the City.
“The MTA should use the funding procured by Move NY Fair Plan,” said Assembly Member Rodriguez. “By using equitable tolling on all crossings, and for those who drive into the center of Manhattan, Move NY is slated to generate $1.35 billion annually. The MTA could use the revenue to upgrade its infrastructure, replace their signaling and communications systems and generally improve subway and bus service throughout New York City without raising fares on those who depend on the system the most and can afford it the least.”