The Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s new capital plan includes historic levels of investment to make our public transportation system faster, safer, more accessible and more reliable. While this most ambitious proposal seeks to revitalize and modernize our transportation infrastructure, the MTA has also announced plans to cut funding to vital services that everyday New Yorkers and visitors rely on. Many of those cuts are slated to affect those living in some of our most underprivileged and underserved communities.
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For many decades, priority has been given to the wealthier areas of the City, with most of our other boroughs being obviated and simply forgotten. This time around, the MTA must prioritize those underserved, mostly immigrant, communities first. We owe it to them.
It is only fitting that an appropriate percentage of the $51.5 billion of proposed investment go to improve and repair those stations in low-income marginalized communities, where some of the oldest and in most need stations are found. I also call on the MTA to rethink cutting services to communities already facing public transportation challenges (especially the bus services) to avoid exacerbating an already dire situation.
Photo credit: Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.