Advocates Support Senator Comrie and Assemblymember Carroll’s MTA Open Data Act



A1442B (Carroll)/S4625A (Comrie)


MTA Open Data Act

An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to enacting the metropolitan transportation authority open data act.

Section 1 of the bill is the bill title, and Section 2 of the bill states the Legislative intent. Section 3 adds a new section 1279-j to the Public Authorities Law (PAL) which codifies for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) the requirements of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 95 (EO 95) of 2013, the state’s Open Data EO that established The bill defines publishable data and requires the MTA to designate a data coordinator to oversee compliance. Within 180 days the MTA must create a schedule for release of open data within three years, which is provided to the Legislature and the public. Section 4 amends paragraph 4 of subdivision 3 of section 1263 of the PAL to establish an MTA Board Committee on Technology and Open Data. Section 5 of the bill sets the effective date as immediate. However, section 4 of the bill related to the committees expires at the same time as the section of law it amends: Section 1263 of the PAL, which expires on June 30, 2024.

The MTA is a $17 billion operating agency with a multitude of datasets that could be made public. To date, the MTA has only published 76 datasets on the state’s open data portal. In contrast, the NYS Department of Health currently has 550 datasets on the portal. While the MTA has made strides in releasing real-time service data to third parties like Google, open data related to contracts and finances has lagged and financial information is largely provided in inaccessible PDFs. 

This legislation would codify existing requirements of the Governor’s Open Data Executive Order 95 for the MTA, making it a legislative mandate rather than only an executive requirement. The MTA will be required to submit to the Legislature and the public a schedule for publishing data on its own website and the state’s open data website, Receipt of this schedule will allow the Legislature to conduct better oversight of MTA data disclosure, and more closely monitor the MTA’s compliance with the law. In turn, this will provide greater public transparency of the MTA’s operations.

(PDF of memo here.)

Groups in support:

Reinvent Albany
Center for Independence of the Disabled NY (CIDNY)
Disabled In Action of Metropolitan NY
Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
Riders Alliance
Rise and Resist Elevator Action Group
Regional Plan Association
Tri-State Transportation Campaign