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MNRCC and NYCTRC Testimony – November 29, 2018 – Bronx Fare Hearing

Joint Testimony of the New York City Transit Riders Council and the Metro-North
Railroad Commuter Council to the
Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
on Proposed Fare Increases.
Hostos Community College
Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
Main Theater
450 Grand Concourse at 149 St
Bronx, NY
November 29, 2018

My name is Ellyn Shannon and I am representing both the New York City Transit Riders Council (TRC) and the Metro-North Commuter Council, tonight. The Councils are members of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC), which was established by the New York State Legislature in 1981 and are the official voice of NYC Transit and Metro-North riders.

The Bronx is undergoing an exciting transformation with new businesses and job centers combined with both established and burgeoning housing and educational centers world class parks. It’s critical that this momentous shift continue, and we believe that transit is a key driver of success.

Significant new rail improvements are planned for the Bronx with the Penn Access project, which will bring rail to several Bronx rail deserts and underserved communities. Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester and Hunts Point will have Metro-North commuter rail service in a few years, enabling residents to reach midtown in as little as 20 minutes. We are hoping that a program similar to our Freedom Ticket proposal will come to the Bronx to make Metro-North more affordable, similar to the way the Atlantic Ticket has for Southeast Queens.

We understand that a fare increase is necessary to keep our system functioning, and our commuter councils support it as they have in the past… but there can be No service cuts with it. The increase option selected must offer the fairest deal for transit’s best and most frequent customers – New Yorkers who ride the system every day. Additionally, substantial new state and city revenue streams must come in to bring the system where it needs to be, to keep our
boroughs competitive. Congestion Pricing is absolutely a part of this sustainable funding package, but it will only bring in an estimated $1 to $1.5 billion per year and the MTA cannot dig its way out of this financial morass with a one-pronged garden rake. We strongly support the battle to identify and secure sustainable MTA funding sources, in addition to a minimal fare increase. The system is the lifeblood of the city and must be appropriately funded. Thank you!

Download here: NYCTRC MNRCC Fare Hearing Bronx