Invest in New York’s Public Transit Systems to Grow the Economy, Drive Equity, and Combat Climate Change

By Bill Carpenter | December 13, 2022

As New York State recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and transit ridership rebounds across the state, the need for more and better mobility is evident across our communities. This includes more buses, trains, bicycles, e-bikes, carpools, and vanpools. People want more mobility choices, and they want services that are modern, dependable, and reliable.

Advocates, customers, and partners are calling on Governor Hochul and the legislature to increase funding for the MTA in the next legislative session to help them stave off their pending fiscal crisis and to run additional service. The New York Public Transit Association supports the MTA getting the resources it needs to be successful today, tomorrow, and long-term. As the Governor and legislature work to identify the best solutions to do that, the time is now to embrace an approach that increases funding for all of New York’s transit systems and creates a long-term, sustainable solution.

We learned many lessons during the pandemic. One of the biggest was the value that public transit provides to all New Yorkers. Transit is an essential service. New Yorkers use it to get to work, shopping, medical appointments and more.  By providing a safe and reliable way for people to connect, the economy keeps moving.  With ridership starting to come back and statewide initiatives related to climate, economic growth, and equity driving demand, public transit systems can be a positive force in reaching our collective goals. However, to get there transit operators need better, more reliable, and more equitable sources of funding to grow and to meet the needs of the communities we serve.

This need is the same throughout New York and we urge the Governor and legislature to embrace a statewide approach and make mobility better for everyone.

Bill Carpenter is NYPTA President & RGRTA CEO