Statement on proposed MTA fare and toll increases

Proposed MTA Fare and Toll Increases

MTA Hearing, College of Staten Island, Dec. 6, 2016

We have to call this what it is—a tax increase. Toll and fare increases are regressive tax increases on my hard-working constituents who commute to other boroughs. To add insult to injury, we see no discernible benefit from these repeated tax increases. We have old buses that frequently break down, and buses that are so crowded, Staten Islanders often have to stand after paying $6.50 for a ride.

Moreover, in less than two years, the North Shore of Staten Island will become a global destination, but the MTA apparently has not seen this memo, or simply does not care.

We should have had a rapid transit line connecting Mariner’s Harbor and St. George before the opening of our waterfront developments. Instead of rising to meet the increasing needs of our commuters and visitors, the MTA is holding a hearing tonight to ask us how we would like to pay our inevitable increases. In the end, we will all pay more with either plan, while our promise of a North Shore rapid transit remains no more than a line on an unrealized map.

The agency is creating the illusion of choice between two options whose effects are barely discernable—while ignoring the real transportation needs of Staten Island’s residents.

I will be happy to talk more about Option A and Option B when the MTA gives us real transportation options

Thank you,

Debi Rose Member, New York City Council


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