Riders To Governor Cuomo: Stop The 2013 Fare Hikes
“People’s Hearing” Calls On State To Increase Investment In Public Transit
Today, Transportation Alternatives and State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), Tri-State Transportation Campaign, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, WE-ACT for Environmental Justice, Co-op City Coalition for Affordable Housing, Riders Alliance and Jacqueline Carthen of the Save the B48 group held the "People's Fare Hike Hearing," calling on Governor Cuomo to stop the 2013 fare hikes. At the hearing, more than 17,395 signatures were presented asking the governor to increase the state's investment in public transit.
"I want to thank the Governor for taking swift action and minimizing the impact of Hurricane Sandy on public transit riders," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "Time and time again, public transportation has proven itself to be the lifeblood of New York and vital to the city's recovery after a natural disaster. As legislators, we need to continue to call for dedicated revenue streams for public transportation on the state level to make sure that this system continues to serve our constituents, communities, and our state."
This past summer, Transportation Alternatives launched a petition (www.stopthefarehike.com) calling on Governor Cuomo to stop next year's fare hike by investing in public transit, gaining over 17,395 signatures.
"There is one person who can save New Yorkers from next year's fare hike: Governor Cuomo," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "This hike would be the fourth in five years if nothing changes. We need the governor and other elected officials in Albany to stop balancing the MTA's budget on the backs of riders. The days following Sandy showed how critically important public transit is to New Yorkers' ability to get around. Now is the time for Governor Cuomo to stand up on behalf of the 8.5 million daily bus and subway riders and increase the state's investment in public transit."
Since 2009, New York State elected officials have taken a total of $260 million from dedicated transit funding. The ongoing transit funding crisis saddles New Yorkers with the highest fare burden in the nation.
"The riding public greatly appreciates Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership in helping subway, bus and rail riders face the many difficult challenges of Hurricane Sandy," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. "Now we need his leadership to make sure the MTA's pressing financial needs are met."
As New York City recovers from the second-ever subway shutdown, the value and vulnerability of our public transportation system is clearer than ever. Also clear is that the system cannot survive on endless fare hikes. New Yorkers are facing the fourth fare hike since 2009.
"Sandy showed us that this city shuts down without accessible transit," said Jacob Carlson, Transportation Equity Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the NYS Transportation Equity Alliance. "The city that doesn't sleep is now telling Albany to wake up. We need the Governor and the State Legislature to keep transit accessible for all New Yorkers and stop this hike."
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