Statement of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
Before the MTA Board – Special Meeting
May 11, 2009
I am William Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. The PCAC is composed of the members of three riders’ councils established by the State legislature in 1981 and addresses regional issues as well as coordinating the work of the councils.
I want to take a moment today to thank the members of the Board and the MTA staff for their efforts to bring us to this point. While no one wants to see increased fares, particularly with the high percentage of operating costs that the riders already bear, the proposals that you will consider today are a major improvement over the doomsday budget that was a possibility, if not a probability, a few weeks ago. This is an opportunity to forge a new partnership with the riders and with the legislators who represent them. I hope that the reports of NYC Transit going ahead with station booth and Station Customer Assistant cutbacks that I am hearing are not accurate. This would be no way to begin such a partnership.
We need a cooperative effort to bring resources to our transit system because there is work yet to be done. The plan approved last week by the legislature provides only two years of funding for vital capital needs. It’s valuable to take a deep breath after the last four months, but it will soon be time to get back to work.
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