Testimony of Rachael Fauss, Reinvent Albany Before MTA Board of Directors
Re: Reorganize the MTA with a Transparent, Public Process
May 22, 2019
Good morning. I am Rachael Fauss, Senior Research Analyst for Reinvent Albany. We advocate for more transparent and accountable state government, including for state authorities like the MTA.
I am here to follow up on a letter sent to CEO/Chairman Foye and the MTA Board by eleven organizations calling for the upcoming discussion over the reorganization of the MTA to be public, transparent and consultative.
The letter was sent by the following groups, some of whom are here today:
- 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
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.
To open up the reorganization process, the groups have asked the MTA to:
- Publicly release the reorganization plan, developed by AlixPartners and any accompanying analysis as soon as possible to give the public and stakeholders ample opportunity to review and weigh in on the plan as soon as possible.
- 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 limits dialogue.
- 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.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
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