NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1442B
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to enacting the
metropolitan transportation authority open data act
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To establish requirements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(MTA) to publish its data in open data formats - formats that can be
easily accessed, downloaded and manipulated by the public, as per Execu-
tive Order No. 55 of 2013: "Using Technology to Promote Transparency,
Improve Government Performance and Enhance Citizen Engagement."
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill is the bill title.
Section 2 of the bill states the Legislative intent.
Section 3 adds a new section 1279-j to the public authorities law, "open
data reporting". This section codifies into law the requirements of
Executive Order No. 95 of 2013: "Using Technology to Promote Transparen-
cy, Improve Government Performance and Enhance Citizen Engagement" for
the MTA. The authority would have to designate a data coordinator to
oversee compliance with the executive order. The authority would have
180 days to create a schedule to publish as much of its data as is
feasible and legal within a three-year span.
Section 4 of the bill sets the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
Amended version removes the committee component of the original bill.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates with what Pat Foye,
named chair in 2019, described as a "credibility gap" between the
authority and riders and elected officials - a lack of trust. The
authority often releases data in formats difficult to manipulate and
access by the public - such as PDF format. The authority is also known
for its occasionally poor responses to FOIL requests by members of the
public. The decline in performance in the authority's subway, bus and
railroad routes are evident to all, but the data currently released by
the MTA does not give a full picture of how routes are used and perform.
This legislation would codify into law the requirements of Executive
Order No. 95 of 2013: Using Technology to Enhance Citizen Engagement" in
regards to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
The anticipated fiscal impact to the state is minimal
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 11, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. CARROLL, ANDERSON, JACKSON -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
-- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said commit-
tee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to
AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to enacting the
metropolitan transportation authority open data act
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "metropol-
2 itan transportation authority open data act".
3 § 2. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that the release of
4 data, in a format that is easily accessible, understandable and usable
5 by the public, can increase civic engagement with government. In addi-
6 tion, in an authority providing a public service and operating an enter-
7 prise as vast as that of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
8 transparency in data is in the public's best interest. It is the intent
9 of the legislature that the authority and its subsidiaries release as
10 much data as is feasible in open formats, so that the public can access
11 that data, analyze it, and engage with the authority with suggestions
12 and solutions to improve its operations.
13 § 3. The public authorities law is amended by adding a new section
14 1279-i to read as follows:
15 § 1279-i. Open data reporting. 1. The metropolitan transportation
16 authority and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including the New York
17 city transit authority and the Triborough bridge and tunnel authority,
18 shall fully comply with the provisions of Executive Order 95 of 2013,
19 "Using Technology to Promote Transparency, Improve Government Perform-
20 ance and Enhance Citizen Engagement," and shall provide the New York
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 1442--B 2
1 state office of information technology services and legislature all data
2 as defined in this section.
3 2. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have
4 the following meanings:
5 (a) "open data website" shall mean the website data.ny.gov or such
6 other successor website maintained by, or on behalf of, the state, as
7 deemed appropriate by the New York state office of information technolo-
8 gy services under Executive Order 95 of 2013, or any successor agency or
10 (b) "data" shall mean final versions of statistical or factual infor-
11 mation that (i) are in alphanumeric form reflected in a list, table,
12 graph, chart or other non-narrative form, that can be digitally trans-
13 mitted or processed; (ii) are regularly created or maintained by or on
14 behalf of the metropolitan transportation authority, its subsidiaries
15 and affiliates and are controlled by such entities; and (iii) record a
16 measurement, transaction or determination related to the mission of the
17 metropolitan transportation authority, its subsidiaries and affiliates.
18 The term "data" shall not include image files, such as designs, draw-
19 ings, photos or scanned copies of original documents; provided, however,
20 that the term "data" shall include statistical or factual information
21 about image files and geographic information system data;
22 (c) "data set" shall mean a named collection of related records main-
23 tained on a storage device, with the collection containing data organ-
24 ized or formatted in a specific or prescribed way, often in tabular
25 form; and
26 (d) "publishable MTA data" shall mean data that is collected by the
27 metropolitan transportation authority, its subsidiaries and affiliates
28 where the authority, subsidiary or affiliate is permitted, required or
29 able to make the data available to the public, consistent with any and
30 all applicable laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, resolutions, poli-
31 cies or other restrictions, requirements or rights associated with the
32 publishable MTA data, including but not limited to contractual or other
33 legal orders, restrictions or requirements. Data shall not be publisha-
34 ble MTA data if making such data available on the open data website
35 would violate statute or regulation, including, but not limited to,
36 disclosures that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal
37 privacy, endanger the public health, safety or welfare, hinder the oper-
38 ation of government, including criminal and civil investigations, or
39 impose an undue financial, operational or administrative burden on the
40 authority or its subsidiaries or affiliates.
41 3. As required by Executive Order 95 of 2013, the metropolitan trans-
42 portation authority shall designate a data coordinator, who shall:
43 (a) have authority equivalent to that of a deputy commissioner or the
44 head of a division or department;
45 (b) have knowledge of data and resources in use by the entity; and
46 (c) be responsible for the compliance of the authority, its subsid-
47 iaries and affiliates with the order.
48 4. The authority and its subsidiaries and affiliates shall make their
49 publishable MTA data available on its website and the open data website
50 as follows:
51 (a) The authority shall create a catalogue of publishable MTA data
52 within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this section;
53 (b) The metropolitan transportation authority shall within one hundred
54 eighty days of the effective date of this section, submit to the legis-
55 lature and publish on its shared internet website a schedule for making
A. 1442--B 3
1 its publishable MTA data publicly available. Such schedule shall provide
2 for updating the data catalogue as appropriate; and
3 (c) The metropolitan transportation authority shall create schedules
4 for publishing all publishable MTA data within three years of the effec-
5 tive date of this section.
6 5. The metropolitan transportation authority, its subsidiaries and
7 affiliates shall not be prevented from publishing data in advance of the
8 dates set in their schedules.
9 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.