PCAC Statement – December 3, 2018 – Budget

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Statement by Lisa Daglian, PCAC Executive Director,
Regarding the Proposed Budget
At the
MTA-Finance Committee Meeting
MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

December 3, 2018

Good morning, my name is Lisa Daglian and I am the Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. Thank you for holding this special meeting today.

Clearly, the MTA is in dire financial straits and funding must be identified, from both within the agencies and from outside sources. We understand that a fare hike is likely to help close the gap and again, we call for the fairest alternative for the regular commuters and riders of the system. At the same time, it’s critical that we continue on the path to improving service and that there are NO SERVICE CUTS or cuts that will impact the system’s reliability. Some of the BRP cuts will affect the rider experience, including cuts to station cleaners and track maintenance. We just can’t go backwards to the bad old days. Tomorrow we will testify at the City Council in support of Fast Forward and increased city funding.

We may sound like a broken record, but Amazon must be also considered as a viable funding source to improve the transit infrastructure in Long Island City, for both NYCT and the LIRR. More people will mean more congestion in stations that are sorely in need of repair, upgrades and accessibility. As we will hear shortly, fare beating is also costing the system substantially and puts additional pressure on fares and service, which hurts all New Yorkers.

Finally, similar to comments made by Reinvent Albany and based on comments we heard at the last Board meeting and at the most recent fare hearings – combined with the fact that many new legislators will have to come up to speed on the MTA budget quickly – we are proposing that the Board create a Transparency Working Group that would work with MTA staff (and we’re happy to offer our services) to create navigable online data and information for riders and others to be able to understand how funding comes in, how it’s allocated, how it’s spent and where budget holes may be. Giving New Yorkers access to this information will to help them better understand the funding situation and support educational and advocacy efforts. It would also build trust by essentially opening the books and showing ‘how the sausage is made’.

Thank you.

Download here: 12318Finance Committee Remarks

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