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MTA Committee Meeting- Developing 20-Year Needs Assessment

Good afternoon! I’m Bradley Brashears, Planning Manager at the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.

From the Interborough Express to Penn Access, riders have many reasons to be excited about the future of our transit system. These major projects have the potential to transform mobility and connectivity around the region— especially for outer borough riders who need better access to transit— and we’re excited to hear more details and progress updates in the coming months and years, and funding through the next Capital Program.

While these mega projects are exciting, it’s also important to make the improvements that may not be as flashy, but will make a difference in the lives of everyday riders. It was great to hear about the next 20-Year Needs Assessment at last month’s Board meeting. We can’t stress enough the importance of this comprehensive analysis of the current and future needs of our transit system. The upcoming 20-Year Needs Assessment and Capital Program come at a crossroads when the MTA truly has no choice but to invest in projects that will help mitigate climate change and its impacts. We agree with many of the priorities described last month, including resiliency and accessibility, that must see major investment in the next Capital Program. It’s encouraging to see that you’re taking into account regional changes and trends in population, transit usage, land use, and the need for sustainability when developing the next 20-Year Needs Assessment. We encourage you to continue to listen to the needs and concerns of riders when developing these important documents.

We’re also looking forward to seeing the results and work of the Track Intrusion Task Force, an issue that has continued to worry riders after another month of deadly track intrusions. Front-facing cameras on every train are a great addition, and the MTA should continue to use every tool available to minimize these tragedies.

We continue to applaud and thank you for the many important projects that are being completed both on time and on budget. We’re confident that with the right investment and prioritization, a more accessible, resilient, and reliable transit system is within reach. Thank you.