NEWS RELEASE: # 10-12
PCAC and Councils Wrap up Fare Hearing Testimony
Tuesday evening the rider Councils of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) concluded a series of testimony delivered at the recent MTA public hearings on proposed fare and toll increases. A total of eleven public statements were given at the nine public meetings. The PCAC’s Councils consist of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council, the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council, and the New York City Transit Riders Council.
While each of the statements focused on some specific elements of the MTA’s fare proposals unique to a Council, the common themes of the testimony delivered by PCAC members and staff included:
- Objection to the shifting of the burden of support for MTA services increasingly onto the backs of the riders;
- Objection to the price that riders have already paid in terms of reduced service;
- Anger at the state funding shortfalls and the impact on the MTA’s finances;
- Opposition to caps on “unlimited” MetroCards and reductions in times during which tickets are valid; and
- A call for the MTA and its agencies to implement internal efficiencies to reduce the cost of providing service.
The position of the PCAC toward the MTA’s fare proposals is summed up in a resolution adopted by the organization at its September 2, 2010 quarterly meeting, which reads:
The PCAC opposes any fare increase as presently constituted, as it gives riders no hope that conditions will be improved. This fare increase was the third piece of an agreement, whereby the State, the ridership, and the MTA would all contribute to the MTA’s ballooning deficit. The State imposed a Payroll Mobility Tax which was supposed to bring a level of support that has yet to materialize. Coupled with the worst service cuts in over 35 years, riders are now being asked to pay more for less, a lose-lose situation. The PCAC demands that the members of the MTA Board and MTA Senior Management work vigorously with our State and Federal elected officials to find alternative means of filling the gap between costs and revenues, including, but not limited to:
- Restoring State funding promised, but not received by the MTA, including $143 million dedicated to the MTA and its operating agencies, but diverted to the State’s general fund.
- Pursuing currently available sources of Federal funding for the MTA’s operating budget, and calling on our Federal representatives and Senators to enact legislation to provide operating assistance for large public transit systems in urban areas.
- Launching an internal examination of hiring, staffing, and salary policies within the MTA and its operating agencies, seeking to eliminate duplication, unnecessary overhead, and unproductive expenditures.
- Advocating new revenue sources, including congestion pricing, tolling the free East and Harlem River bridges, and a gasoline tax, all placed in a “lockbox” that could not be used for other purposes.
Statements on the MTA’s fare proposals were delivered:
At the Manhattan (9/13/10) hearing on behalf of the NYCTRC;
At the Newburgh (9/13/10) hearing on behalf of the MNRCC
At the Bronx (9/15/10) hearing on behalf of the NYCTRC
At the Staten Island (9/16/10) hearing on behalf of the NYCTRC
At the Garden City (9/16/10) hearing on behalf of the LIRRCC
At the Flushing (9/20/10) hearing on behalf of the LIRRCC and the NYCTRC
At the Suffolk County (9/20/10) hearing on behalf of the LIRRCC
At the Brooklyn (9/21/10) hearing on behalf of the LIRRCC and the NYCTRC
At the White Plains (9/21/10) on behalf of the MNRCC
Copies of any or all of these statements are available upon request.