Anyone who rides a train or bus in New York knows that our public transit system is in dire need of reinvestment - with commuters facing increasingly long wait times in dirty stations and poorly lit bus stops, it's no wonder that ridership is still down 20% compared to 2019 levels.
Without a bold intervention, things look poised to get worse, as the 3 million New Yorkers who ride the subway every day are faced with a looming fare hike to keep the MTA afloat. This is the vicious cycle that we enable when the MTA is forced to rely on farebox revenue to fund operations: lower ridership means the agency must raise fares to cover costs, but higher fares only promise to reduce ridership further.
Our #FixTheMTA package is the bold reform our transit system deserves
Together with Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, I am proposing legislation that would improve service, increase ridership, and ensure that the MTA remains financially solvent without working class New Yorkers footing the bill at the farebox.
- Freeze Fares - Between rent, utilities, and groceries, New Yorkers are paying more than ever for basic goods - we cannot afford a fare increase on top of it all.
- Fund Frequency - Ensuring 6-minute headways, including during off peak hours, is projected to increase ridership by up to 15%, further increasing confidence in our transit system.
- Free Local Buses - Our plan will call for free local bus service, which would be phased in citywide beginning where the need is greatest.
Funding transit with farebox collection is a regressive model that needlessly burdens working class New Yorkers.
Rather than continuously raising fares to keep the trains and buses moving, our plan advocates funding the MTA with additional budget allocations from new dedicated sources of revenue.
To learn more about the full package of proposed legislation, visit www.fixthemta.org/about, where bills sponsored by our colleagues in the Senate and Assembly lay out further measures for accountability, efficiency, and fiscal viability.