State lawmakers from eastern Queens complained that the MTA gave them no answers at a budget hearing in Albany last week.
Even newly elected State Senator John Liu, who supported Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal years ago, was disappointed by the MTA’s lackluster responses. Legislators say they believe the MTA either has no real plan, or don’t want to release it to the public yet.
Though some pols, like longtime congestion pricing opponent Assemblyman David Weprin, are ardently opposed to any plan, others like Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal are open to dialogue once they see the numbers.
But they can’t make a decision, or explain it to their constituents, until they know what they are voting for.
The onus is on Cuomo and the MTA, which he controls, to put out a detailed plan that spells out how much additional tolls would cost, what the MTA will spend the money on, and how it will affect congestion in Manhattan.
Then again, advocates make a good point that state lawmakers are not totally absolved of responsibility. Their job is to craft and amend legislation and get their colleagues on board.
If you’re a lawmaker who wants to fix the MTA, fund Fast Forward and finally take action to address the crumbling mass transit system, you have to lead. Rally with your constituents who are demanding a solution, and keep the pressure on Cuomo.
Though the legislative session just started, elected officials only have a few weeks left to analyze and vote on a plan that would shape the future of public transportation in New York City.
MTA, get to work. We need to see a real plan.