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Now would be a good time to contact your State Senator and Assembly member to request that they support increased transit funding in the state budget. [PHOTO: RTS]
Story via: NYPTA

The State Senate and Assembly are in final preparation of their one house budget bills. If you’d like to see improved public transit service in NY state, now would be a good time to contact your State Senator and Assembly member to request that they support increased transit funding in the state budget…

Find your State Senator external link and Assembly member external link and urge them to support both increased state transit operating assistance (STOA) and increased transit capital funding in the 2015-16 state budget.

NY Public Transit Association (NYPTA) is specifically asking legislators for the following:

  • $25 million increase in STOA for upstate transit systems in 2015-16.
  • $17.4 million increase in STOA to downstate suburban county transit systems in 2015-16.
  • $100 million in capital funding to address transit infrastructure needs for both upstate and downstate suburban county transit in 2015-16.
  • Fully fund the 5 year capital program for the MTA and for all other transit systems.
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The Governor’s executive budget provided no growth in STOA and little new capital funding for upstate and downstate suburban county transit systems. Upstate STOA has been flat since 2009. Transit systems cannot continue to provide current service at existing funding levels.

In addition, all transit systems have capital needs to replace and renew aging infrastructure.

Transit ridership is growing across the state and transit systems need increased state support in order to continue to support economic growth.

NYPTA’s 2015-16 state budget recommendations:

  • Increase state transit operating aid to upstate transit systems by $25 million and to downstate suburban county systems by $17.4 million.
  • Provide $100 million in state capital funding for the first year of the upstate and downstate suburban capital program.
  • Develop a plan to fund the 5-year statewide infrastructure needs of the MTA and all other transit systems.
  • Provide additional transition funding from non-transportation resources to assist rural transit systems in dealing with the impacts of state Medicaid transportation changes.

And please, share this with your transit-loving friends!

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— 4 Comments —

  1. Could you guys elaborate on the best way to contact both local and state gov’t for these kinds of things? I’m always eager to show support, but want to make sure I’m writing an effective message to the correct people- something that will actually be read and considered.

  2. Hi Daniel, we can’t really give you writing advice, but here’s a good article about writing to Congress members which gives a good guideline. As with any elected official, you’ll want to make sure to include your address so they can recognize you as a constituent. Other than that, speak your mind and always be respectful.

  3. Thanks for that, but I was looking more for your specific experience as transit advocates in the area. For example, a recent RocSubway post encourages contacting city hall about bike lanes on Main Street. Are there specific city officials who have been more responsive to transit-related requests? Has email or phone worked better? I’m curious as to what influence public input really has.

  4. Hi Daniel, yes, members of the public who speak up can have great influence. For any sort of pending legislation within the City of Rochester you should contact your City Council people (for your district and at-large members). That information can be found here: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589935617 If no legislation has been proposed, and you wish to suggest something like bike lanes on Main St. you could contact the Mayor’s office. At the State level, you’re best bet is usually to contact your elected officials in the assembly and senate.

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