Statement by Lisa Daglian, PCAC Executive Director,
Regarding the Proposed Budget at the
MTA-NYCT Committee Meeting
December 10, 2018
Good morning, my name is Lisa Daglian, and I am the Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
While we are starting to see improvements in New York City’s transit system as a result of investment in the Subway Action Plan, more needs to be done. The transit system has yet to fully recover from the 2010 cuts – the reason that we continue our call for no service cuts at the fare hearings. While proposed fare increases will help with the budget gap. Substantially more funding is needed to get the system back on track, and ensure that it is accessible for all users.
The city and state stepped up to fund the Subway Action Plan, but Fast Forward goes much further and will require vastly more funding. Addressing the needs of the system after decades of insufficient funding lies in finding recurring and sustainable funding sources including, but not limited to Congestion Pricing. We look forward to the Sustainability Working Group report.
Restoring and improving the subway system requires a bold new way of thinking accompanied by an increased commitment of resources. Some of those resources must come from companies like Amazon. Long Island City residents, visitors and businesses would greatly benefit from such investments. More people will mean more congestion in stations that are sorely in need of repair, upgrades, and accessibility. Similarly, there is great opportunity in capturing the added value that transit brings to real estate developments, and we strongly support the MTA’s efforts in that area. It is also important that everyone pay their fare: fare beating costs the system hundreds of millions of dollars a year, putting added pressure on fares and service, and hurts all New Yorkers. Equitable enforcement is needed now more than ever.
There is a need for the MTA to focus on reducing waste and inefficiencies. We believe important light was shed on the topic, through the two board working groups on Capital Project Cost Containment and Procurement Reform, being led by Commissioners Scott Rechler and Charles Moerdler, respectively. We look forward to updates on progress in these areas.
At the end of the day, it is in the interest of both the city and state to ensure that the system functions well, and that it is appropriately funded. We cannot afford to wait decades for modernization efforts such as improved signals and CBTC to be completed and must find ways to accelerate them, as laid out in the Fast Forward plan. Subway and bus riders need the city and MTA to work as partners so that the transportation system remains the lifeblood of the region. We look forward to a vigorous discussion of what needs to be done and how to pay for it, and last week encouraged members of the City Council to fully participate in this dialogue.
The Fast Forward plan cannot be implemented without the state’s and city’s financial support and commitment. Thank you.
Download here: 121018 NYCTRC NYCT Budget Support