Good morning, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.
At last week’s hearings, we heard from riders about the need to improve service as a September fare increase looms, lessened thanks to the Governor and legislature. We are looking forward to additional service on the G, J and M lines starting next weekend, and faster speeds on the Q and 7, with more planned. Reliable and frequent service are key to getting riders back on board, and the work that plagues riders on weekends and overnights now will benefit us tremendously in the long run – as will the congestion pricing that helps pay for the improvements.
Buses are also getting attention: we heard several riders speak about the need for more speed on slow routes, and we’re glad it’s been on your radar. I think we can all agree that buses should go faster than a chicken! Improvements to the lowest performing bus routes are starting to pay off, but what will really help is increased implementation of ABLE and the extra oomph that was added this year, allowing ticketing of infractions outside of bus lanes that slow buses. Enforcement is key to keeping bus lanes clear.
Working with the city and other partners is key to helping riders get around the boroughs. We’re sorely disappointed the city is taking a step back on Fordham Road and hope that DOT will reconsider its position. Transit is the best way to get around the Bronx, whether you’re headed to the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, or the many small businesses. The majority of Bronxites depend on buses, and dedicated busways would help them move faster. The Fordham Road busway would be transformative for riders on the Bronx’s busiest bus route.
An increase to 200% of the federal poverty rate for Fair Fares eligibility would be transformative for a million more New Yorkers than can currently apply. Mayor Adams could make that happen with the stroke of his pen – and we’re happy to lend him ours, if he needs it. Fair Fares should be fairer for all.
More service, improved frequency and reliability and increased access to more affordable fares will help riders across the city.