Funding needs outlined at New York Public Transit Association's Annual Conference

TARRYTOWN - With demand for mobility choices increasing, New York transportation leaders have released a report that outlines the need for $1 billion over the next five years to help transit systems make upgrades to public transit infrastructure.

The report was released during the New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) annual Conference & Expo, which took place at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, New York on November 12-14. The full report can be accessed here. A summary document can be found here.

The report assembled the capital programs at all upstate and suburban downstate transit systems in New York state. It showed that while available federal, state and local revenues can fund $700 million of the investment need, there is a projected funding gap of $1 billion. The report details capital projects needed over the next five years, as well as projects funded from the expiring 2015-2019 capital program. The report will guide NYPTA’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 New York State budget season.

The 5-year capital plan will fund the replacement of transit buses, improve transit maintenance facilities and provide for new technology that will improve mobility and make using transit and related systems easier for customers. It will integrate systems and choices thereby reducing congestion, improving access and stimulating economic opportunities throughout New York.

“NYPTA members are working with the Governor and the Legislature to secure resources to address the transit funding gap as part of a state transportation capital program. A commitment to regional transit systems is integral for communities throughout the state to thrive. These systems and their services connect New Yorkers to jobs, healthcare, shopping, education and recreational activities. They are a critical component to economic development activities, especially in our thriving downtown communities,” said Bill Carpenter, NYPTA president and chief executive officer of the Regional Transit Service in Rochester.

NYPTA is requesting the governor and state legislators continue the progress they made after increasing funding to New York’s transit systems in this year’s budget. The increase represented the first year of NYPTA’s request for increases in public transit funding over the next five years (10% per year). This funding will allow transit systems to meet the growing needs of the customers and the communities they serve.

While there has been a focus on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the need to enact a new capital program, the spotlight needs to be on statewide transit systems to ensure that no community is left behind.