ALBANY, NY – Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (SD-12) and Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani (AD-36) today issued the following statement:
“Today, both houses of the legislature have made a historic decision to build the transit system that New Yorkers deserve. By rejecting the fare hike and funding a first-of-its-kind free bus pilot, we ensure that our City’s public transit continues to be affordable.
“These one-houses come at a time of skyrocketing costs of living, and we are proud that the legislature is choosing now to begin a free bus pilot. This will ensure that working-class New Yorkers are not barred from accessing fundamental activities and receive financial relief – all while making the bus system faster, safer and universally accessible.
“For too long, Albany has allowed the MTA to be funded by regular fare hikes on working-class riders who depend on it the most. However, the MTA – like sanitation and firefighting – is a public good. We are proud that these budget resolutions recognize it as such and commit to raising revenue from the wealthy to fund the lifeblood of our city.
“Still, for transit to truly meet the needs of working-class New Yorkers, we know that service must be frequent and reliable. We will continue to advocate for funds to increase service for the millions of riders who face inexcusably long wait times.
“Now that the Legislature has finalized its budget proposals, we look forward to working with Governor Hochul to pass a strong budget that works for working-class people.”
Read more about the “Fix the MTA” package here. The budget proposals in both houses of the New York State Legislature include funding for a fare freeze at $2.75, and a free bus pilot for 2 routes per borough (10 in total).