160 Calls Made In Support Of The Transit Funding Lockbox Act
June 15, 2011
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
New Yorkers jammed Albany's switchboard today during the Rider Rebellion Call-A-Thon in support of the Transit Funding Lockbox Act. 160 people in Union Square called their representatives in the State Assembly as well as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to voice their support for the Transit Funding Lockbox Act. The Transit Funding Lockbox Act (A6766/S4257) aims to prevent public transit fare hikes and service cuts by making it much more difficult for legislators to raid dedicated funding from the MTA.
"Transit funding is not the state's personal piggy bank," says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "That money belongs to the 7 million people who ride our transit system every day in this city, and must be protected under lock and key."
Over the last three years, the Paterson and Cuomo Administrations raided a total of $260 million from dedicated MTA funding. These raids caused the worst fare hikes in a generation, the anniversary of which is coming up on June 27th. As a result of the ongoing revenue crisis, New Yorkers are saddled with the highest fare burden in the nation and the capital plan, which will make overdue station rehabs and track repairs, is facing a $10 billion shortfall.
According to the Regional Plan Association, the MTA would need up to $1.5 billion in new annual revenues to cover this debt. To raise that much revenue, the MTA could be forced to raise the price of a monthly MetroCard as high as $137.
The Transit Funding Lockbox Act is intended to address this problem by making it much more difficult for legislators to raid dedicated transit funding. The bill is sponsored in the State Senate by Martin Golden (R-Bay Ridge) and in the Assembly by James Brennan (D-Park Slope).
Enjoying bipartisan support in the State Legislature, the Transit Funding Lockbox Act is also backed by the Transit Workers Union Local 100, the Straphangers Campaign, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Reinvent Albany, WEACT and the Empire State Transportation Alliance.
Rider Rebellion is a project of Transportation Alternatives and is supported by the J.M. Kaplan Fund and the Scherman Foundation. The Rider Rebellion campaign unites transit riders in support of affordable fares, better service and the end of service cuts.
"Thousands of ordinary people have made their voices heard in the Rider Rebellion campaign and demanded our government live up to its obligation to provide a safe, clean, affordable and efficient public transit system," said White.
Transportation Alternatives was founded in 1973 and advocates public transit, street safety and bicycling in New York City. With thousands of members in all five boroughs, Transportation Alternatives is New York's leading voice on transportation issues.
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Transportation Alternatives 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-8080 Fax: 212-629-8334