Transportation Alternatives Testimony To MTA Board
July 25, 2012
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
Today, Ya-Ting Liu, Transportation Alternatives' Director of Transit Advocacy, delivered the following testimony before the MTA Board:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Ya-Ting Liu, and I am the Director of Transit Advocacy at Transportation Alternatives.
We applaud Chairman Lhota and the MTA Board for restoring one third of the service the MTA cut two years ago. Now Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature need to do their part by taking our transit system off life support and putting it on the right track with adequate and sustainable funding.
In the last 15 months, Transportation Alternatives has held six Transit Town Halls across the city. From Fordham Heights to Sheepshead Bay, New Yorkers who depend on our city's transit system every day stood up and spoke up about the need for better service and the frustration of being fed a steady diet of fare increases without corresponding improvements in service.
Transit riders have no problem paying their fair share but they've already faced three fare hikes since 2007 and now the MTA is considering another for next year. Meanwhile, over the last three years, the State Government raided a total of $260 million from dedicated transit funding, diverting that revenue to for non-transit purposes in the state budget. These financial shell games have got to stop because they're gambling with the wellbeing of our city--these raids caused the worst service cuts and fare hikes in a generation.
The MTA's restoration of some of the service lost in 2010 is a good start but the state needs to invest in a transit system that can expand to meet the needs of a growing city, not just make up ground already lost. By not providing the investment necessary to restore and expand service, elected officials in Albany are guaranteeing that New Yorkers will continue paying more for less.
We urge the MTA board to join us in asking Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to stop dipping into New Yorkers' pockets and to start investing in the public transportation that drives our entire regional economy. We need Governor Cuomo to step in and prevent America's largest city from becoming a casualty of the short-sighted refusal to invest in prosperity.
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Transportation Alternatives 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-8080 Fax: 212-629-8334