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MTA Transit Committee- Riders want faster, safer, more reliable and frequent transit service. Delays to congestion pricing will hurt the transit system, riders, and our region

Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. Condolences on the loss of Hilarion Joseph to his family and the entire MTA family. It highlights how dangerous the work that’s done underground can be.
Survey says: riders want faster, safer, more reliable and frequent service. Getting from Point A to Point B safely and quickly keeps us happier and coming back for more. During this most wonderful time of the year, when we are traveling over the river and through the trees, getting home for the holidays should be as smooth and seamless as possible.
The SPEED unit, working with MOW, has its work cut out for it and is making good progress increasing speeds and improving performance. If it were only that easy on the bus side, where the roads are ruled by City DOT. ABLE is one way to increase bus speeds, but so too are dedicated bus lanes and bus ways. It’s great that 3.1 miles of bus lanes were completed on Gun Hill Road, benefiting tens of thousands of riders. What about the rest of the Streets Plan’s 150 mandated lanes by 2025? What about Fordham Road? Why are buses in New York still slower than a chicken?
We’re glad to see more people onboard, but getting more people to pay to ride is critical. As a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Fare Evasion, I’m looking forward to seeing strategies enacted across the system and hearing more about how efforts like the pilot fare arrays are working.
October saw increases in crime – never welcome, especially with accompanying news about city budget cuts to the NYPD. We urge the Mayor to continue working with the MTA and Governor to ensure the safety of the riding public and MTA workers. Continuing ridership gains is the trend we want to see; rising crime hurts the system and our region.
Delays to congestion pricing will also hurt the transit system, riders, and our region. Fingers crossed for a vote on TMRB recommendations at next week’s Board meeting. Otherwise, both operating funding and essential capital projects will suffer. Let’s bring congestion pricing home for the holidays.