Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Transportation Chair David Gantt and Authorities and Commissions Chair James Brennan today announced the Assembly's 2016-17 SFY Budget will provide a significant funding commitment to the state's transportation infrastructure, including more than $7 billion for the MTA Capital Plan and $405 million for transit, rail and aviation projects across the state.
"The Assembly budget invests in the state's transportation infrastructure to ensure that our economy is able to function and grow," said Speaker Heastie. "Our budget reflects the consensus within our conference that investing in better roads, bridges and mass transit, equals economic growth, a better quality of life and greater job opportunities for all New Yorkers."
"This budget demonstrates the Assembly's commitment to ensuring the people of our state have access to a transportation infrastructure that is reliable and safe," said Gantt. "Transportation-infrastructure investments are a very wise use of public dollars because not only do they promote economic growth and keep our roads, bridges and mass transit systems operating efficiently, but they also yield long-term benefits for today's residents and the generations of New Yorkers to come."
"I am pleased that the Assembly made a major commitment of state funds to the MTA's five-year Capital Plan," said Brennan. "The Assembly budget provides critical state support, ensuring the transit systems operated by the MTA, which are essential to the economies of the five boroughs and beyond, have the resources necessary to serve its more than six million daily riders now and into the future."
Mass Transit Funding
The Assembly budget provides $7.5 billion for the five-year 2015-2019 Capital Plan of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has experienced record growth in ridership in recent years. It also modifies an Executive proposal by removing a requirement that the MTA exhaust their existing resources before any state funds would be provided to support the MTA's Capital Plan.
Under the Assembly budget, the non-MTA Downstate transit systems will receive a $5 million increase above the Executive Budget, bringing their total operating aid amount to $308.5 million. For the Upstate transit systems, $208.7 million is provided in operating assistance, which is a $15 million increase or eight percent more than the Executive proposal.
State Settlement Funds Invested in Subway Line
The Assembly reprograms $605 million in settlement funds to critical areas of the state's transportation infrastructure, and also provides an additional $200 million to the MTA to leverage federal support for the continued construction of the Second Avenue Subway, a project that is expected to reduce mass transit overcrowding and delays.
DOT Capital Plan Financial Support
To support various transportation projects throughout the state, the Assembly provides the Department of Transportation (DOT) five-year Capital Plan with $405 million. This funding commitment for DOT's Capital Plan would provide over a four-year period $250 million for the capital needs of non-MTA downstate and upstate transit systems, and $100 million for rail and $55 million for aviation projects. The investment in aviation would triple the size of the Air'99 Program and fund at least 55 airports compared to only five airports under the Executive proposal.
Canal Corporation Funding
The transfer of the NYS Canal Corporation from the NYS Thruway Authority to the NYS Power Authority (NYPA), a proposal made by the Executive, has been rejected by the Assembly, which instead directs NYPA to transfer to the Thruway Authority $70 million for the maintenance, repair and operation of the Canal Corporation.
CHIPS Funding for Local Roads and Highways
The Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), a program municipalities throughout the state rely on to keep their roadways in good repair, will receive $488 million or $50 million more than the Executive Budget, as a result of the Assembly's decision to reject the Executive's Upstate airport revitalization competition. The CHIPS program also will receive $50 million annually for the next four years for a total of $200 million.
Thruway Toll Credits
The Assembly does support the Executive's proposal for a new tax credit to reimburse Thruway tolls charged to farm vehicles but rejects the Executive's plan to establish a tax credit for tolls paid by frequent Thruway travelers.