A package of eight bills dubbed “Fix the MTA” aim to solve the agency’s financial quandaries and improve experiences for riders.
The bills are expected to be introduced in 2023 in the state legislature and would propose several key spending components.
Queens Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, who’s a key sponsor of the package, joined Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Thursday to discuss the package.
“We cannot afford to go to Albany to fill the MTA’s looming fiscal cliff,” he said. “We have to go to Albany to fix the MTA, come back and deliver a transformative transit system for New Yorkers.”
When asked about making bus services free — one of the proposals — Mamdani said the MTA is in a crisis because the state hasn’t funded it at the required amount.
“We used to have a governor — Gov. Cuomo, thankfully in the rearview mirror — who used to take money from the MTA to fund even like upstate ski resorts,” he said.
According to Mamdani, the packages propose free buses over the next four years — starting in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and then Manhattan and Staten Island.
“This would make our buses faster, would make our buses safer and universally accessible,” he said.
Mamdani said that the purpose of the four-year free bus plan is so it can be free in the future.
“It should be free, first and foremost, because New Yorkers are suffering under inflation,” he said, adding that New Yorkers who use the bus are disproportionately working class and people of color. “This is a way that we can provide relief from inflation to the New Yorkers who need it most.”
Another proposal would freeze subway fares at $2.75 a ride.
Queens state Senator and Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris joined “Mornings On 1” to discuss the package of bills.