Greetings, I am Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. I am giving my remarks on April 19th for the April 21st Board meeting. Apologies if I’ve missed breaking news in the intervening days – but I say this to reinforce the importance of allowing speakers on the day of Board meetings. I’ll also take this opportunity to urge you to reinstate Committee meetings where so much valuable information is shared – including the use of innovative technologies to make the region a better and greener place by advancing important climate goals. This work is especially important to tout as we celebrate Earth Week.
We were very excited to be at the announcement of the product test agreement to retrofit LIRR M-7s with battery power to allow them to run in diesel territory, providing new opportunities for a one seat ride for tens of thousands of riders. This first in the nation test is yet another example of the Rail Road embracing modern technology to benefit commuters. It will be good for riders and for the planet.
Similarly, the advances being made toward a fully electric bus fleet by the team at NYC Transit Bus is impressive, as are the partnerships they are forging as they work toward a cleaner future. Adequate funding remains a challenge, but we are committed to doing our part to advocate with you.
Complementing these innovations is the green light for an environmental assessment to get moving on Congestion Pricing, which will not just fund building and rebuilding our transit system, it will help improve air quality and reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. We hope to hear much more today about next steps, including when – and where – we can expect public meetings to be held and when the Traffic Mobility Review Board will be appointed and using what criteria. We would also like a firm commitment that their meetings will be held publicly. The end goal of cleaner air should begin with sunlight, the best disinfectant.