PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release: January 15, 2010
Contact:
Kate Slevin
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
P: 212-268-7474

Tri-State Transportation Campaign Statement on MTA Chair Jay Walder's 100-Day Address

MTA Chairman Jay Walder has set worthy goals this morning that will greatly improve the quality of life for transit riders and motorists if they are accomplished.

For the first time, the MTA has committed to rolling out 21st-century tolling technology on one of its bridges. Once implemented, drivers will no longer have to slow down at toll facilities. This is an important step towards a safer, more convenient, and more environmentally friendly road network. Tri-State Transportation Campaign has been pushing for such changes since at least 2003, and urges the agency to install electronic tolling on all MTA crossings in the near future.

We agree with the MTA that camera enforcement of bus lanes will greatly improve service, and urge the state's elected leaders to pass legislation to allow such enforcement, benefiting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.

Subway and bus countdown clocks will change riders' commuting experience for the better and are an essential piece of the MTA's next capital rebuilding program. Finally, we applaud Chairman Walder's efforts to streamline the MTA and deliver better service while keeping costs to riders low.

It’s worth noting that without additional revenue, Chairman Walder’s plans to deliver improved service will be severely compromised. A list of deep service cuts and elimination of free student Metrocards was approved by the MTA board in December to plug a $400 million dollar operating deficit, and the agency’s next construction program faces a $10 billion funding gap. It’s up to Governor Paterson, the State Legislature, Mayor Bloomberg, and our elected officials in Washington, DC, to ensure the MTA is able to provide the quality and affordable service transit riders want and deserve.

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Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working towards a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. www.tstc.org