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Transit Needs Funding Today, Tomorrow, and Into the Future

No One Shots, No Long Shots, Only Sure Things in This Year’s Budget!

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

We’re getting closer to a budget, one we hope will fully fund the MTA and recognize it as the essential service it is. The pandemic highlighted the unsustainability of farebox dependency. The MTA has been more dependent on fares than almost any other transit systems in the country. It is time to change that, and we appreciate that the Governor, Majority Leader and Speaker are committed to devising a new funding model that ensures riders won’t be faced with unaffordable fare hikes and unacceptable service cuts. We appreciate the numerous alternative funding proposals on the table – it shows our elected officials understand the looming catastrophe if riders are left stranded and transit is left to fail. We also appreciate Janno going to Albany yesterday to fight on our behalf.  

Last week, PCAC members sent a letter to key electeds advocating for adoption of several targeted funding proposals, to be placed in a lockbox, as part of a comprehensive and forward‐looking solution for the MTA’s fiscal challenges. No one shots, no long shots, we need sure things. The letter is available at; proposals include: 

• $300 million annual, baseline funding, adjusted for inflation;
• Increasing the PMT per the Governor’s proposal;
• Abolishing the MSG tax exemption and allocating future property tax revenue to the MTA;
• Allowing the city to implement a Residential Parking Permit Program;
• Broadening ABLE and making it permanent;
• City funding of student MetroCards;
• Expanding City Ticket to include the Far Rockaway LIRR station and considering further expansion;
• Amending gaming legislation to allocate a portion of siting fees and taxable winnings to the MTA;
• Levying state and local sales taxes on digital streaming services;
• Introducing a statewide fee on delivery transactions.

We also support strengthening aggravated assault provisions for transit workers, a pressing necessity in light of last week’s horrific attack on the LIRR.  

Investing in our transit system, its riders and workforce is imperative for the sustained economic recovery of the region and the entire state. Our elected leaders have the opportunity to redefine the MTA’s funding model and ensure its viability for generations to come.