Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. It’s great to be here today at the first in-person MTA Board meeting in more than a year.
However, this is a bittersweet day as it’s your last Board meeting, Pat. As the Beatles said, “You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello.” Before you take your leave, we’d like to express our appreciation on behalf of riders on subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North – from all of us at PCAC – for all you’ve done to keep the system going, including pulling together resources from across the U.S. to bring in critical funding that will keep the trains and buses rolling. Thank you for your steady hand and head as we roll toward our new reality, including recognizing the need to find better ways to continue to incorporate commuter rail into the fabric of the city and the region.
That vision is shared by the board and we were grateful to hear you’ll be holding off on fare hikes for 2021 as a way to encourage people to return to the system. Not having to pay more is good news that riders can use. In addition, more equitable fare policy, including a more robust Fair Fares program, creative ticketing that includes 20-trip discounted tickets and an expanded Freedom Ticket pilot, would encourage even more riders to get on board – critical as our region and economy continue to rebound and reopen.
We look forward to continuing those conversations with the Board and your successor or successors. Our region still faces a long recovery, and it’s important the MTA have strong and steady leadership going forward in the most expedient manner possible. That decision can’t wait.
We expect to hear that despite federal aid there will be a bumpy ride in the coming years, and that’s why moving congestion pricing ahead is key, as is updating us transparently and regularly. An important step is the resolution in support of the Capital Lockbox – City Sales Tax, which would secure the city’s portion of sales tax for CBD tolling and generate $3.7 billion in bonding – essential to ensuring the success of the 20-24 Capital Plan, our transit system and our region.
Again, thank you Pat.
Download Here: PCAC Testimony MTA Board 7.21.21