Winter 1999-2000, p.13

Groups Push Transit Capital Plan

A coalition of environmental groups, including the Straphangers Campaign, T.A., the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council, is pushing a five-point revision to the MTA's Five-Year Capital Plan. The plan comes at a crucial time: subway ridership is at a 30-year high, and there are a million more subway and bus riders a day now than two years ago.

Five Point Program for Better NYC Subways & Buses

Provide more service and reduce crowding.
The MTA's proposed five-year plan will expand transit service by less than 2%. We agree with the Regional Plan Association, which has called for 500 more subway cars and 1000 more buses than the MTA proposes.

Adopt a policy of "no new diesel buses."
The MTA proposes to buy two-and-a-half times as many polluting diesel buses (756) as clean fuel buses (300), despite having already adopted a no new diesels policy for its Long Island bus subsidiary.

Increase funds for city transit to reflect ridership.
MTA has proposed decreasing the funding split for NYC Transit from 77% to 69%. This, though NYC Transit moves 91% of the MTA's customers, while Metro North/LIRR moves 9%.

Build a 2nd Ave. subway with connections to other boroughs.
A full-length Second Avenue subway is a crucial link in New York City's regional transit development.

Include a commitment of new state funds for transit.
The MTA's plan forecasts a $2.5 billion funding gap for its five-year plan, but calls for no new state aid . This could mean as much as a 50-cent fare increase. NYC subway and bus riders already have the highest fare box burden in the nation, paying 66% of the cost of operations.

Send email to Gov. Pataki telling him that you want better transit now. Go to www.straphangers.org and click on 'End the Crush.'

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