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MTA Transit Committee- re-NEW-ing Commitment to Congestion Pricing

Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. Happy new year!

And happy re-NEW-vations to 63 subway stations! Last week, I had the opportunity to mark the 63rd at the 66th Street stop on the 1 train, and it’s a beaut. Congrats to David Soliman and team and all the workers involved for doing such fine work. We like that the re-NEW-vations are spread out across the city, and not just in high profile spots like Lincoln Center. Keep ‘em coming, please!

Rich Davey noted that the work is done when the stations are closed for other work – signals, tracks, accessibility – funded with Subway Action Plan money. As a reminder, those dollars continue to come in from congestion pricing Phase 1 surcharges on taxis and for-hire-vehicles. Millions and millions are already at work making the system a better place for riders, but so much more needs to be done.

If you look at The Weekender, a must-read for every New Yorker, it’s easy to see the immense amount of critical work going on around the city. No doubt, it makes traveling around a huge pain – trust me, I live off the 7 line – but it’s work that will continue to make the subways more accessible, reliable, faster and safer in the long run.  The crucial work that must continue to keep our vast and old system in a state-of-good-repair, and bring it into the 21st century, requires a refilling of the capital coffers – and that requires congestion pricing. That’s why we’ll be testifying at the upcoming public hearings. Billions for subways, buses, the Staten Island Rail, LIRR and Metro-North will add up to billions for our region’s economy.

Last week, we testified in Albany at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing and were glad to hear so many elected officials talk about their ongoing commitment to the MTA and riders, and how they too regularly get onboard. We want to thank them again for getting onboard during last year’s budget process and essentially saving the MTA and all of us from the world of hurt that other transit agencies are facing. We look forward to working with them, and you, again this year.