Public Transit Advocates Call for Greater Investment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Albany, NY, March 22nd- The President of the New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) says it is imperative Governor and State provide additional public transit aid in the 2017-2018 state budget. “The demand for our services continues to grow across the State,” said NYPTA President Bill Carpenter. “A modest two percent increase in proposed funding would provide an ever-growing number of New Yorkers the public transit options they want and need,” Carpenter added.
In a press conference at the Capitol’s Great Western Staircase, transit officials, lawmakers, business leaders and customers talked about the impact public transit has on communities, the state economy and quality of life. Therese Daly of Albany is a daily commuter: “I made the conscious decision not to own a car,” Daly said, “so the bus is my mode of transportation. It is a part of my life and a way of life,” she added.
The Governor and Legislature have made reviving the New York economy a priority, with new business development and jobs emerging across the state. New York’s transit systems are building on this success and providing critical connections to jobs, education, recreation and health care. Demand for more service is increasing in urban, suburban and rural areas, and among senior citizens, millennials, people with disabilities and those working to escape poverty. This means that the State’s efforts will only be successful if adequate resources for public transit are made available for communities throughout the state.
“The Business Council, and our president, Heather Briccetti, have long advocated for increased funding for upstate transit,” said Johnny Evers, PhD, director of government affairs for The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “The NYPTA represents many of the best regional transportation companies in the state and we are happy to stand with them today and ask the governor and the Legislature to increase funding for critically needed projects and improvements throughout the system.”
In addition to the 2% increase for the larger systems, Carpenter said the smaller rural transit systems need an increased investment in aid to offset the loss of revenue from medical transportation. Additional capital funding is also needed for transit systems other than the MTA. “The impact public transit has on the state economy cannot be ignored,” Carpenter said. “We connect people to jobs and services and ask lawmakers to provide the additional funding we need to ensure that communities across the state continue to grow.”