Free NYC Buses? MTA Says They Open to Proposal, If There’s Money – NBC New York

Free NYC Buses? MTA Says They Open to Proposal, If There’s Money – NBC New York

A day after the MTA opened Grand Central Madison for Lengthy Island Rail Highway commuters, some leaders in New York Metropolis are asking the transit company, “What about us?”

They are calling on Mayor Eric Adams to push Albany to repair the much-maligned MTA, whereas enhancing subway and bus service with out climbing up fares — a tall order for an company that is seemingly perpetually strapped for money. But it surely’s a well-recognized push from transit advocates, as funds season is quick approaching.

“We are demanding this governor and mayor keep price at  $2.75,” mentioned Metropolis Councilman Chris Marte.

That demand got here after the long-awaited launch of Grand Central Madison — an $11 billion mission a long time within the making. As MTA Chairman Janno Lieber mentioned “people have been wishing for this for generations.”

However transit officers are going through renewed stress to enhance way more in regards to the subway and bus service for thousands and thousands of riders. With a deliberate lower in subway frequency within the months forward — to lower your expenses — advocates are calling for the other: extra service. 

“‘Six minute service’ could be the game changer communities waiting for,” mentioned Bronx Metropolis Councilwoman Amanda Farias, referencing the marketing campaign to have buses and subways run each six minutes always, day by day.

Advocates are backing a brand new invoice in Albany that will fully revolutionize bus service within the metropolis — by making it completely free for riders. The MTA tried that quickly, early within the pandemic, and another cities have accomplished it full time.

One state lawmaker says free buses are an actual risk. 

“This has real hope of passing — 66 of my colleagues hear from students that they can’t afford fare,” mentioned New York State Assemblywoman Zohran Mamdani, who represents a part of Queens.

MTA officers mentioned they welcome the concepts, however want one factor to be completely sure always: A dependable funding stream. Although Lieber highlighted the present work that’s being accomplished presently to enhance the system.

“Let’s make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact we are doing a ton of stuff,” he mentioned. “We are resignaling the system and making it accessible.”

One change unveiled Thursday was a brand new elevator at Penn Station.

“This is particularly important for me as a New Yorker with a disability. Now, more than ever, demand for elevators and ramps highest it’s ever been,” mentioned MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo.

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