Silver Pushes on MTA Bailout
March 13th, 2009

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver just released a statement calling for quick action on an Metropolitan Transit Authority bailout plan. “It is essential to recognize that we are facing a difficult decision that must be made without delay,” said Silver.

Silver has been pushing a compromise plan that would enact a $2 toll on East River bridges. Silver says he has enough votes in his conference to pass a plan. Meanwhile, dissension in the Senate has prevented any movement on the bailout. Transit advocates have stepped up pressure on legislators.

Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, say they won’t be “held hostage” by the MTA’s March 25 deadline for toll hikes and service cuts.

Smith had previously called for an audit of the MTA but did not officialy move to initiate one.

Here is Silver’s statement in entirety:

“The doomsday budget proposed by the MTA including huge fare increases and substantial service cuts is unacceptable and would have a devastating impact on all New Yorkers. Joined by members of the Assembly Majority, I have put forth a plan that will prevent massive fare hikes and stop cuts to subway, bus and commuter rail service. Our plan, including bridge tolls pegged to the cost of a New York City subway fare as well as a payroll tax, ensures that all who benefit from our regions public transportation system pay a fair share of its cost.

It is essential to recognize that we are facing a difficult decision that must be made without delay. MTA transit and commuter services are the lifeblood of the economy of our city and region. I believe that our proposal represents the best and fairest way to prevent a massive fare hike and devastating service cuts.”

By on March 13, 2009, 2:17 pm
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