Watchdog Supports Bills to Increase MTA Transparency, Financial Stability


Reinvent Albany advocates for more transparent and accountable New York government, including for authorities like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. We released an extensive report in May 2019, Open MTA: 50 Things NY Can Do Now To Renew Public Trust in MTA, which contains recommendations for how to increase public confidence in the authority.

We support legislation that would increase MTA transparency and accountability, as well as improve the MTA’s financial stability. Below are memos of support for four important bills related to the MTA:

  1. S3545 (Ramos) / A4043 (Carroll), Capital Dashboard Transparency – Increases transparency of the MTA’s progress on specific projects. Specifically, this bill – which is part of the Fix the MTA Package – would require the MTA’s capital dashboard to include new information about contractors, contract numbers, source of funding for projects (including congestion pricing), and coding by accessibility and resiliency. 
  2. S153 (Krueger) / A2610 (Hyndman), Automated Bus Enforcement – Improves MTA bus service with automated camera enforcement of NYC traffic laws. It also importantly repeals the sunset date of the effective Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) bus program. This bill is part of the Fix the MTA Package.
  3. S1205 (Gounardes) / A2895 (González-Rojas), Internet Sales Tax Remittance – Remits Internet Sales Tax funds directly to the MTA without appropriation. Providing dedicated funding directly to the MTA – not through the annual budget process where it has been subject to raids from the executive – will increase the MTA’s financial stability and improve its credit ratings. This bill is part of the Fix the MTA Package.
  4. S2872 (Comrie) MTA Bond Charges Exemption – Eliminates a decades-old NYS cash grab that hurts MTA riders by increasing the cost of MTA debt service payments, which are already sky-high at 20 percent of its operating revenue.

We urge the Legislature to include these proposals in your one-house budget bills, or pass them separately.