Senator Fuschillo: Governor Wrong to Veto Legislation to Give Public More Input on Proposed Mta Fare, Toll, and Service Changes

Legislation Would Have Required MTA to Hold Public Hearings Regarding Changes in Fares, Tolls, or Services in All Affected Regions

     “I am extremely disappointed that Governor Cuomo vetoed legislation I sponsored that would ensure that all residents affected by any proposed Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fare increase, toll hike, or major service change are able to voice their concerns.

     Residents who would be affected by any proposed MTA toll, fare or major service change deserve every opportunity to get information and share their concerns directly with the MTA Board at a public hearing in their area. Requiring the MTA to hold public hearings in each county affected by the proposed changes would have improved transparency and ensured that the riding public was given every opportunity to voice their concerns.

     Current law requires the MTA to hold a public hearing on a proposed toll, fare or major service change. There is no requirement that a hearing be held in each affected county. When it considered the most recent fare increase proposal in the fall of 2012, the MTA held public forums in different areas of the MTA region, but there were several counties in which no public hearing was held, even though residents of those counties were directly impacted by the MTA changes. The MTA also holds simultaneous hearings in different counties, thereby preventing all the Board members from being present at all hearings.

     The legislation (S.776/A.31), which was passed by the Senate and Assembly in May, would have required the MTA to hold hearings in each county in which a fare increase, toll and/or major service change is proposed.”