MTA and Governor Should Consult With Public Well Before Decisions are Made
Plans and Analysis Must be Released Publicly As Soon As Possible
MTA stakeholder groups – rider and environmental advocates, and watchdog groups – sent a letter today to MTA CEO/Chairman Pat Foye asking for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to ensure that the upcoming discussion over the reorganization of the MTA is public, transparent and consultative.
The letter asks for the MTA to:
- Reach out to public stakeholders, including riders groups, unions, advocates, and elected representatives, well before a reorganization plan is released and voted on, and publicly consult with them about potential recommendations.This should be done outside of the MTA Board meeting process, which limits public comments to 2 minute presentations and constrains useful dialogue.
- Publicly release the reorganization plan developed by AlixPartners and any accompanying analysis as soon as possible.
- Publicly release additional “reviews” by AlixPartners of waste, fraud and abuse, conflicts of interest and duplications of functions, etc. as soon as it is received by the MTA Board.
The MTA says it is working to restore public trust, and any reorganization should be part of a public, consultative process. The MTA is a huge service provider and a major reorganization could subject riders, employees, vendors and city residents to major disruptions. Riders are counting on a reorganization to provide better, not worse, service. Ensuring the discussion over the pending reorganization is public and consultative will help put the MTA’s best foot forward to show it is acting in the public interest. The priority must continue to be on providing safe, reliable and consistent service at levels that serve the needs of the riding public.
The state budget requires the MTA’s consultant developing the reorganization plan, AlixPartners, to give recommendations to the MTA Board by June 30, 2019.
AlixPartners is also conducting a “review” of waste, fraud, abuse, conflicts of interest, duplications of functions, etc, which is due to the MTA by July 31, 2019. Under law, the “review” is to be made public within 30 days of receipt by the MTA. Within 90 days of receipt of the “review,” the reorganization plan is to be updated by “the authority” to incorporate its findings. MTA Board, acting as the authority, will vote on a final reorganization plan sometime before the end of October 2019.
Groups signing the letter include:
- New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
- New York League of Conservation Voters
- NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
- Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC)
- Regional Plan Association
- Reinvent Albany
- Riders Alliance
- Transportation Alternatives
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign