Transit bill would bring $345 million to region
New York’s two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a bill today that would bring $345 million to transit in the New York City region, helping to restore services that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority cut, Schumer’s office said.
That sum would be the New Jersey-New York City-Connecticut region’s share of some $2 billion that would come to transit systems nationwide under the Public Transportation Preservation Act. The money would cover operating costs — keeping trains and buses running.
The MTA — the largest transit agency in the nation, but not the only one operating in the tri-state area — has been working to cover a $378 million shortfall by late July, and is more than halfway there.
To cover an earlier $383 million gap, the agency reduced some services, including the elimination of dozens of bus routes throughout the city.
A Schumer press release said the emergency aid would “stave off future fare hikes imposed on commuters” using New York City subways, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, all owned by the MTA. But MTA Chief Executive Jay Walder has said he would avoid fare hikes this year.
Fares are set to rise 7.5 percent next year and again in 2013, but those are scheduled increases, not emergency measures.