May 21, 2015
By Mark Henry, President/ Business Agent, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 1056,* and Chair, ATU NYS Legislative Conference Board
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) joined with labor, elected officials, advocates and business at an Albany rally, Tuesday, May 12, supporting a fully funded MTA Plan.
The coalition, including Assemblyman Jim Brennan, chair of its Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee and representatives of the Regional Plan Association, NY League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense Fund, Riders Alliance Public agree that transportation remains key to our region's economic growth and called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead the way to find consensus on the resources needed to fully fund the plan.
ATU consistently advocated for the State and City to allocate the resources necessary to fully fund the MTA Capital Plan. Indeed, a real argument exists for the City and State to up the ante – A LOT – to fund the plan and not defer the issue to the identification of new revenues.
Investing in infrastructure to keep our buses running, rebuild and enhance bus service and deliver the best service possible makes sense and needs full funding – as does other basic system maintenance and service needs. Ridership has exploded across the City. The City transit system is being outpaced by the overall necessity for all New Yorkers to commute. Logic dictates government make the needed long-term commitment and “stick with the plan” to invest the needed funds for the MTA Capital Plan.
ATU supports funding the capital plan to meet the greater needs of New York City and State. We continue to offer our extensive experience and knowledge of the MTA system in fashioning solutions to transit issues. We emphasize maintaining, rebuilding and enhancing the MTA system, especially its bus service.
*ATU Local 1056 represents drivers and mechanics who work for MTA NYC Transit's Queens Bus Division.