Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn) announced today that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has proposed a $28 billion budget for a five-year program to make major improvements to the aging system, provide greater access, and make some major expansions.
This MTA proposal of $28 billion includes $495 million for security improvements, $144 million for Police and computerization projects, and $10 billion for MTA expansion projects. While this proposal has not been accepted by the Capital Program Review Board (CPRB), it is currently under consideration. It is expected that it will not be agreed upon until the 2005-06 budget is passed.
"Unfortunately, the Governor has proposed a funding plan that does not address the needs of our City’s public transportation. We have a system that moves millions of people each day, we need that system to evolve with the times and remain reliable," Senator Dilan said.
"The MTA’s proposal is extremely important to all New Yorkers living in and around New York City. Our system of public transportation is in need of major updates and improvements. The recent fire on the A and C lines is testament to that. However, the Governor is not willing to acknowledge that we need these funds to better serve New York City," said Senator Dilan.
The Executive budget proposal includes $19 billion for the five year MTA Capital Plan. The Governor has clearly identified that he believes the MTA’s capital plan is far too large. The Executive proposal contains only $15 billion for core MTA operations, $2 billion for miscellaneous system upgrades and unspecified projects to be determined later.
"The Governor has recommended a plan that explicitly contains a $1.2 billion funding gap in years four and five of the MTA’s capital plan. Also, except for the #7 line expansion, the Governor does not provide funding for improved East Side Access or a 2nd Avenue Subway expansion project. Clearly, the Executive proposal does not fully take into consideration the needs of the MTA and the New Yorkers they serve," Senator Dilan stated.
Senator Dilan also noted ways in which the Senate Democrats have proposed the MTA can improve service and curb escalating costs. One proposal is that the MTA should increase the use and purchase of clean fuel buses. While the MTA’s proposed plan calls for the purchase of "clean fuel buses," it does not specify how many will actually be purchased. "Perhaps the most important proposal is that New York State should make a substantial direct contribution to the program. Presently, the State makes no direct contribution to the current plan," said the Brooklyn lawmaker.
Senator Dilan added, "We need to ensure that the residents of New York City have a safe and reliable system of public transportation. There is a long list of improvements that need to be made and the Executive Budget proposal fails to address these needs in a sufficient matter. In order to keep New York City vibrant and growing, we need a system that works."