Local lawmakers set to introduce legislation that could change NYC mass transit
One week ago, Queens Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani was joined by fellow lawmakers and elected officials to announce a plan to fix the MTA.
They’re set to introduce the legislation in 2023. If it passes, it will change the way mass transit runs in our city for the foreseeable future.
The legislation has three main aspects – freezing fare hikes, increasing frequency of subways and buses and making bus rides free for all.
“Year in and year out, New Yorkers are being asked to pay more for a system that is serving them less,” said Amanda Septimo, Assembly member in New York’s 84th District.
According to Septimo, the money already exists to put this plan into action and would come out of the state budget.
"All of this and more could be paid for with just 1.5% of what we spend every single year," says Septimo.
The proposal would roll out free bus fares over four years by borough, with the Bronx up first in year one, followed by Brooklyn in year two.
“This bill package really means that our state leaders are saying ‘we see you, we care about you, we recognize that an affordable, reliable, frequent public transit system is essential to New York.’”, said Caitlin Pierce, deputy director of the Riders Alliance.
The transit advocacy group is most excited about the push for better reliability.
The MTA approved their 2023 budget today that includes an anticipated 5.5% fare hike. They say they look forward to working with partners at the local, state and federal level to find new recurring revenues and focus on the mass transit funding problems the MTA faces.