Brodsky: Assembly “Working to Find Partners” for MTA Funding
Last week we e-mailed a short list of questions about the MTA financial crisis to Assembly Member Richard Brodsky. Here are his responses, received yesterday, shortly after we posted our "doomsday" scorecard.
Streetsblog: Given the MTA’s need for both operating and capital funds, what revenue streams would you like to see tapped at this point for each?
Richard Brodsky: Earlier this year, Speaker Silver and the Assembly were the only State leaders to adopt an MTA funding plan, which was based on the Millionaire’s Tax. I supported the Speaker’s efforts and will do so again.
SB: What is your reaction to reports that the Ravitch Commission may recommend tolls on East River bridges, and/or the introduction of congestion pricing, as MTA funding sources?
RB: Dick Ravitch is a smart, tough, thoughtful man and the Commission’s recommendations will be taken seriously.
SB: Are you comfortable with a fare increase for transit riders, as the MTA is considering?
RB: I have very publicly argued for increased public support for the MTA on the capital and operating sides and will continue to do so. The financial responsibility for the mass transit system should not be limited to those who use the system, but should include contributions from those who benefit from it.
SB: How quickly do you anticipate Albany will act on the MTA crisis, once the authority presents its proposed budget and the Ravitch Commission weighs in?
RB: It’s very difficult to say. Again, the Speaker and the Assembly have a long record of protecting mass transit. We’re working to find partners.