Following the announcement by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chair Joe Lhota that $1 billion in emergency funding from New York State, Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez issued the following statement:
“The past few months have shown how much attention the subway system needs. Derailments, delays and malfunctions have made riding the subway a terrible and unsafe experience for New Yorkers. I’m glad the Governor has heeded the call to take action and declare the system in a State of emergency. The $1 billion in emergency repairs is a strong first step to repairing our signals and rails.
Beyond this snap funding I hope the MTA audit announced today, as well as the review of the capital plan will find where we are failing so we can quickly correct it. This should include a greater focus on maintaining a state of good repair than system expansion projects. To get the funding the MTA needs, we must explore dedicated revenue stream. Whether through restoring the commuter tax or implementing Move NY or new ideas, these revenue streams will be vital to ensuring we have a system New Yorkers deserve and can be proud of, to compete with our sister cities around the world.
It is important that Governor Cuomo and MTA Chair Lhota acknowledged the plight of riders and that they are also customers for this system that have seen fares perpetually rise. We have a responsibility to these riders, and the recognition of this fact is key. I’m the coming weeks, I will Chair a Transportation Committee on the needs of the subway system along with NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. I hope to hear answers and ideas at this hearing because New York City residents will not accept the incidents of the past several weeks to become a standard.”