State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that his bill, Senate bill 6521-A, passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The measure is designed to make the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) more accountable to taxpayers and rail users. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assembly member Zebrowski.
"I want the MTA to stand before its riders and the public and justify their actions before any fees are increased," Senator Bonacic said. "Government agencies at all levels, including public authorities, must be accountable to those they serve."
Senator Bonacic said that his bill requires the MTA, prior to increasing any fees, rates, or surcharges, to hold a public hearing detailing why the proposed fee or increase is necessary, exactly what transit users would obtain from the fee, and why the MTA cannot provide that service using existing revenues.
This legislation, according to Bonacic, is directly related to the fact that, last Fall, the MTA unilaterally imposed a parking fee without public comment or going to the State Legislature. At that time, the MTA had a surplus of a billion dollars.
"I am pleased my colleagues in the Senate supported this accountability measure. Hardworking New Yorkers, already overburdened by tax increases and fees, deserve to know why the imposition of an annual fee; $192 per year in the case of the MTA's parking fee, is necessary and what service they would gain as a result," concluded Senator Bonacic.