(Albany, NY) The Senate Majority and Assembly Majority today announced that they will hold a joint public hearing on the effectiveness of New York’s transit networks in Central New York. Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Transportation Committee, and Senator Leroy Comrie, Chair of the Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee, together with Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, will lead these hearings, to ensure that legislative activity in 2019 addresses the needs of Central New York.
“Improving our state’s mass transit infrastructure is a crucial challenge that we must meet,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “I look forward to the residents of Central New York having the opportunity to share their priorities and discuss these important issues directly with their elected leaders. I applaud Senator Kennedy and Senator Comrie for organizing this hearing and working with Senator Rachel May to address regional transportation needs. I also commend our colleagues in the Assembly, especially Speaker Heastie and Transportation Chair Magnarelli, for their ongoing partnership on this critical issue.”
“Mass transit issues are not unique to downstate. It is important that we hear from our constituents on issues affecting our transportation systems throughout New York,” said Speaker Carl Heastie. “Guided by Assembly Transportation Chair Bill Magnarelli and our partners in the Senate we can make investments in roads and bridges to improve safety for travelers around the state.”
Chair of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Throughout these statewide hearings, we've listened to the concerns of many riders from New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Western New York who rely on our state’s transit networks every day. Just as importantly, we've furthered a dialogue with the transportation agencies and management who oversee them. We look forward to continuing these conversations Upstate, and hearing directly from Central New Yorkers about their priorities so that we can incorporate their feedback into final budget negotiations.”
Chair of the Senate’s Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee, Senator Leroy Comrie said, “Syracuse and communities across Upstate New York are transit deserts. Additionally, transit agencies like CNYRTA are burdened with high costs and limited new revenue. Transit is critical to economic development throughout the Upstate region. I look forward to joining with my colleagues to begin an important conversation on how we can work together to create more opportunity for area residents and increase reliable, affordable transit service.”
Chair of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli, said, “Transit systems statewide show signs of aging infrastructure. We need to hear from upstate and central New York commuters and other stakeholders to improve the transit systems that so many of our residents rely on.”
Senator Rachel May said, “Central New Yorkers face significant challenges in accessing public transit options. Services like CENTRO do amazing work with their constrained resources, but it is still hard for people to get to work, to school, and to go about their daily lives. Other parts of my district, like Madison County, have little or no public transit options at all. As we discuss transportation accessibility and efficiency across the state, it is vital that we remain focused on the needs of Upstate. I am thrilled that Senator Kennedy is including Syracuse and Central New York in this conversation so that we can highlight the diverse transportation needs of the 53rd District and talk to stakeholders from across the region. I am an advocate for hearings on important topics across the state and I look forward to continuing our conversations about providing the best options for residents to fully participate in the economy and public life.”
The Central New York hearing will be on Friday, March 22nd, at 1:00 PM at the SRC Arena and Events Center, Onondoga Community College, Otis Room, 4585 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215. This will be the fifth hearing held by the Senate Democratic Majority on this important issue following hearings in New York City (2/19), Long Island (3/1), the Hudson Valley (3/8) and Western New York (3/15).
If you would like to testify at one of the hearings, please RSVP to Transportation@nysenate.gov.