Executive Budget is Good Start; Adequate Capital & Operating Funding Plan Still Needed

The New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA), which represents over 100 transit systems across the state, today called for an annual state capital investment of $100 million to meet transit infrastructure needs of upstate and suburban downstate transit systems.

The state must finalize a funding plan for the MTA’s $26 billion capital program and NYSDOT’s $22 billion program. NYPTA testified today before the New York State Legislature’s Joint Budget Hearing on Transportation that any state plan to fund transportation must include adequate funding for upstate and suburban downstate transit systems.

“The Governor has committed to providing $8.3 billion to fund the MTA capital program,” said Carm Basile, President of NYPTA. “We fully support this level of funding and believe that the rest of the state’s transit systems deserve an adequately funded capital plan as well.”

New York’s transit systems have identified $1 billion in infrastructure investment needed over the next five years, with a funding shortfall over $500 million. These transit systems need to replace over-age buses, repair outdated facilities and modernize fare payment systems in order to continue to provide safe, reliable service to communities throughout the state. Increased transit operating support is needed to meet growing demands for more and better service.

“There is an urgent need to invest $500 million over the next five years to improve transit infrastructure upstate and in the downstate suburbs, and support the growth of our communities,” said Bill Carpenter, Vice-President of NYPTA who testified at today’s hearing. “These systems operate 3,000 buses and together would rank as the 7th largest transit system in the nation.”

Transit ridership is rising in many areas of the state and both the public and business community are demanding more and better service. Transit services provided across New York State are an important component of the regional transportation network and critical to the economic growth of communities. The mobility provided by transit connects citizens to jobs, businesses, education, recreation and health care.

NYPTA recommends a state of investment of $100 million per year in upstate and suburban downstate transit infrastructure, and a $20 million increase in State Transit Operating Assistance above Executive Budget levels. This funding will allow these systems to modernize aging infrastructure and continue providing high quality service to the public.

Click here to read the full testimony of Bill Carpenter, CEO, Rochester GEnesee Regional Transportation Authority; VP, New York Public Transit Association