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Westchester Lawmakers, Commuters Push Cuomo To Increase Transit Funding

Several local and state lawmakers were joined by commuters and advocacy groups to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase funding for non-MTA transit systems.
Several local and state lawmakers were joined by commuters and advocacy groups to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase funding for non-MTA transit systems. Photo Credit: Contributed

SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- State and local elected officials, transit users, and transportation advocates urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo  on Thursday to increase state funding in the New York State budget to support statewide public transit systems.

Advocates are asking the governor to make a new investment of $17.4 million in operating aid for downstate non-Metropolitan Transportation Authority suburban transit systems, $25 million for upstate operating assistance, as well as a capital investment of $100 million for both the suburban downstate and upstate public transportation systems.

While transit use is at record levels across New York, the proposed executive budget keeps operating assistance flat at 2014-2015 levels for all non-MTA transit systems.

"Public mass transit is vital to New York's economic health and its prospects for growth," Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) said in a statement. "Our MTA Metro-North and non-MTA transit systems need increased investment to meet consumer demand and provide safe, reliable service for all riders."

Additionally, given that Metro-North stations in Yonkers and across Westchester support housing, jobs, and economic revitalization, lawmakers stressed that the state budget must fully fund the MTA's 2015-19 capital program.

"Every day, Westchester's Metro-North and bus riders expect nothing short of safe, efficient, and affordable public transportation," Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Mount Kisco) said in a statement. "We must continue to fully support our public transit systems because the health of our local and regional economy depends on it."

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