Advocates Thank State Legislature for MTA Oversight Hearing, and Applaud Commitment for Another this Fall


Reinvent Albany
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC)
Riders Alliance
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
August 31, 2020

Senator Leroy Comrie
Chair, Senator Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee

Senator Tim Kennedy
Chair, Senate Transportation Committee

Assemblymember Amy Paulin
Chair, Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee

Dear Chairs Comrie, Kennedy, and Paulin,

Thank you for holding the August 25th oversight hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on the MTA. It provided an important opportunity for legislators and the public to hear directly from the MTA, and for the State Legislature to hold the agency accountable. We appreciated the opportunity to hear the perspectives of union leaders, riders, workers, and other stakeholders, and to provide ours.

The MTA is in historic peril because of the plunge in revenue and unanticipated but unavoidable expenses caused by COVID-19. The fate of public transit and the New York City region itself is in danger unless the MTA receives more than $10 billion in federal emergency aid to continue operating through 2021.

We thank you for committing to another oversight hearing this fall to ensure the legislature and public have a say in the MTA’s future. Ideally, the hearing would be held in October before the release of the MTA’s November financial plan. The MTA’s 2020-2024 capital plan will also see revisions – potentially with significant cuts, and the legislature can provide similar transparency and opportunity for stakeholder comment.

A fall hearing can address many topics important to MTA stakeholders, including:

  • Efforts to address rider and worker concerns given COVID-19 risk;
  • Ongoing sanitation and maintenance of the transit system;
  • Current, future and optimal service levels;
  • Transparency and open data;
  • ADA accessibility of the subway and bus system;
  • Impacts on Access-A-Ride and on-demand paratransit service;
  • Effect of 2020-2024 capital plan suspension and prioritizing maintenance and core projects therein;
  • Cost control measures for operating budget and capital plan;
  • MTA debt levels and options for mitigation; and
  • Continuing federal funding needs.

Again, we thank you for the August 2020 hearing, and look forward to working with you on an additional MTA oversight hearing this fall.


Rachael Fauss
Senior Research Analyst
Reinvent Albany

Eman Rimawi
Access-A-Ride Campaign Coordinator
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Lisa Daglian
Executive Director
Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC)

Danny Pearlstein
Policy & Communications Director
Riders Alliance

Colin Wright
Senior Advocacy Associate

Nick Sifuentes
Executive Director
Tri-State Transportation Campaign