Lawmakers call for free bus service pilot program in 2024 NY budget

The Assembly is proposing a $50 million budget to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to create those two free routes in each borough.

News 12 Staff

Mar 28, 2023, 9:33 PM

Updated 423 days ago

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Lawmakers are proposing a program to keep transportation in New York City affordable and to expand access to more commuters as part of the 2024 state budget.
Members of the state Assembly and Senate are calling for a free bus service pilot program to be included in the New York 2024 fiscal budget  
“A free bus program that would provide two free routes in all five boroughs of NYC,” said Assembly member Kenny Burgos. “We recognized the need for transportation, we realize the potential of what free service could do.” 
The Assembly is proposing a $50 million budget to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority whose funds would create those two free routes in each borough.  
“That would be such a beautiful thing,” said Raymond, a daily user of the MTA. “Forget that $3, people pay taxes. People should be treated the right way.” 
Potential fare hikes are looming over the heads of many commuters, as the MTA is currently in a fiscal crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget aims to bail out the transit system with funding sources, but New York lawmakers rejected a proposed 5.5% fare increase.  
Janno Lieber, chair and CEO of the MTA, provided the following statement in response to the ongoing MTA discussion in the fiscal budget: 
“We’re grateful the Legislature agrees with Governor Hochul that transit service in this region is essential, and needs to be funded. The Governor led by putting forward a balanced proposal to fund transit with dedicated, stable and recurring revenue -- putting riders first.” 
Assembly and Senate members are pushing to have a finalized budget by April 1.


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