Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Transportation Committee Chair David Gantt and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz today announced the 2017-2018 SFY Budget agreement provides major funding increases of $130 million for the Department of Transportation Road and Bridge Capital Plan, $65 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and Pave NY and also to several other essential transportation infrastructure programs.
Under the agreed upon budget, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Capital Plan is allocated $65 million, which is a restoration of the funding amount cut by the Executive's budget from the MTA's operations budget.
"The much needed transportation investments in this budget will help ensure New Yorkers have access to a transportation infrastructure that is well maintained, properly equipped, efficient and safe," said Heastie. "During these budget negotiations, the Assembly pushed for the $300 million in additional funding for local roads, bridges, airport facilities and transit systems because they are all essential to our mobility, the delivery of the goods and services we all depend on, and the ability of communities across the state to maintain a quality of life for their residents."
"The funding commitment we make in this budget recognizes that our transportation infrastructure is now many decades old and in need of substantial attention," said Gantt. "I commend Speaker Heastie and my Assembly colleagues for advocating for a greater investment of state funds in transportation programs, especially the $65 million for CHIPs and Pave NY, which municipalities heavily rely upon to help pay for road and bridge repairs."
"Under Speaker Heastie's leadership, this budget makes wise investments in the state's transportation infrastructure, providing significant funding increases to several essential transportation programs," said Dinowitz. "Our transit systems will receive a much deserved funding boost for both operating and capital aid so they can better serve their riders, who for many of them mass transit is their only source of transportation."
The $130 million increase included in the 2017-2018 SFY Budget for the DOT Road and Bridge Capital Plan will help DOT move forward on a range of important transportation infrastructure projects, including the revitalization of JFK Airport, the I-81 Syracuse Study, the Scajaquada Expressway replacement in Buffalo and other transportation projects such as New York City's Kosciuszko Bridge and the 17/32 Interchange in Woodbury.
For the second fiscal year in a row, at the Assembly's urging, a funding increase was provided to the state's local highway assistance programs. In the 2017-2018 SFY Budget, $65 million is provided for the Extreme Weather Recovery Program to be distributed through the CHIPs formula. Combined with the CHIPS/Marchiselli and Pave NY Programs, the total funding for the state's local highway system is $643 million.
The Assembly also successfully advocated for additional funding above the Executive's budget for non-MTA transit system capital projects, $20 million; non-MTA transit system operating assistance, $10 million; and aviation and airport infrastructure projects, $10 million.
"Not only do these mass transit investments help ensure and enhance the mobility of today's New Yorkers and those of future generations, but they're also an important tool for growing our economy and creating jobs," added Speaker Heastie.
The budget agreement also contains $1.6 million in new state funding for county STOP/DWI programs and $3.5 million in additional funding to fully offset toll increases for the Verrazano Narrows Bridge Rebate Program.