Open Proposal

Proposed Move NY Fair Plan Legislation

Summary

A new bill is now being considered in Albany to reduce NYC traffic congestion and provide reliable new revenue for public transit improvements and road and bridge maintenance. On this site, you can learn about and discuss this legislation. Legislators, the Governor, and other key officials will be urged to read your input as the bill moves through the legislative process.

The bill was introduced on March 24, 2016 by Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez (East Harlem), who chairs the Subcommittee on Infrastructure. The initial coalition of 14 cosponsors includes Assemblymembers from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. It would impose new tolls for the four East River bridges and for vehicles crossing 60th St. in Manhattan. These tolls would be same as what drivers now pay to enter Manhattan through the Brooklyn Battery and Queens Midtown tunnels. Special rules would apply to commercial vehicles, taxis and FHVs. Tolls on the 7 MTA bridges would be lowered at the same time -- and the new tolls can't be implemented unless the outer bridge tolls are lowered. The new revenue would be dedicated to specific transportation-related purposes (e.g., public transit expansion, road and bridge repair, fare decreases) in all of the 5 boroughs and nearby counties. Most important, the new money would be legally protected from diversion to other uses, and transparency measures are included so the public can confirm this.

Proposed Legislation 3. How the Money Is To Be Spent - 24

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Subtopics

1|Specified transportation investments - 6

What the bill does: Directs MNYHTA to distribute money from the MNYM Fund, each year, in the following priority:

  1. To TBTA, the amount necessary to make up for reduction in tolls on the 7 MTA bridges. Make-up payments are to be calculated and paid quarterly.
  2. To NYC-DOT, the amortized cost of toll collection equipment, as well as maintenance and toll administration costs
  3. To NYC-DOT, up to $300 million for actual and verifiable costs of maintaining the East River Bridges
  4. To MTA, $487 million, which MTA can use to borrow up to $7.3 billion to fund the 2015-19 Capital Plan
  5. To NYC-DOT, $75 million plus any money in category 3 not needed for the East River Bridges, to be used for miscellaneous road and bridge maintenance and improvements
  6. To MTA, $121 million to fund improved transit access throughout the 5 NYC boroughs (Subtopic 4)
  7. To MTA $300 million, which is to be bonded to create a new $4.566 billion "transit gap investment fund" focused on the 5 boroughs (Subtopic 2 )
  8. To MTA, $47 million, which is to be bonded to create a $700 million "suburban transit capital projects fund" focused on Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Putnam and Duchess counties (Subtopic 3)
  9. Any remaining money is to be distributed 75% to MTA and 25% to NYC-DOT, to be used for capital projects only.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. § 97-pppp(5).

Rationale: The first priority for MNYM Fund disbursements is replacing revenue lost from reducing tolls on the 7 MTA bridges, because the original tolls were part of the revenue stream against which MTA has borrowed money. Next, the costs of installing and operating the new tolling equipment are to be covered.

Then, a total of $375 million will be directed to roads and bridges maintained by NYC-DOT (categories 3 and 5). The East River Bridges get priority, based on NYC-DOT's estimates of necessary maintenance over a 10-year time horizon. Beyond that, money is made available to address the large percentage of City roadways in poor to fair condition (PDF pp. 8, 12-17).

Next, MTA receives an amount sufficient to bond up to $7.3 billion for additional funding of its 5-year capital plan. Then, $121 million is allocated to fund various measures that can be taken quickly to make public transit more affordable and available for commuters who now have limited transit alternatives. (For specifics, see Subtopic 4). The next priorities are revenue sufficient to establish two new bonded funds: one will address transit gaps and fund locally-supported transportation projects in each of the five NYC boroughs (For specifics, see Subtopic 2), while the other will support suburban transit improvements. (For specifics, see Subtopic 3).

All money in the MNYM Fund is to be paid out each year, with MTA (75%) and NYC-DOT (25%) splitting anything left after the listed payments. Total revenue from the new tolls and surcharges (net of TBTA toll revenue replacement and toll collection costs) is estimated to be $1.35 billion a year.

To learn more about the rationale for this part of the bill, see NY Congestion Discussion Topic 6 and Move NY Fair Plan (PDF pp. 20-25).

Comments6

Commenting is now closed.

NYSDOT has informed the Sunset Park Brooklyn Community Board #7 that they have no funding to replace missing cladding and paint the entire of the Gowanus Expressway(NYS's longest bridge) when they complete structural steel support repairs. When this part of the re-build is done; they are done. They walk away, and leave a rusting hulk from Bay Ridge to the Hicks Street cut. This is intolerable and I think you ought to know.

Tom Murphy, the MoveNY legislation would assign funds to several different agencies but not to the State DOT, which has authority over that bridge. You may contact them with feedback here. You can contact your state assembly member directly as well, who can better speak to matters outside this bill.

To me this reads like good old fashioned give everyone their piece politicing. If there has to be a bill, then substitute standards or criteria for a schedule of who gets what money. For a minute you had me, but then I read the list of moneygetters. Kill that part, and I'm in. Don't, and I hope disappear.

To be clear, criteria for who gets money instead of a list of who gets money. That's what I think will make this something decent.

I sort of agree with this. I wonder could anything get done in new york state politics without this kind of list of "moneygetters." So long as the good outweighs the bad, it might be ok. Although, I don't know if the good outweighs the bad. I do generally agree though that if it can be done with criteria for getting money instead of an upfront list of who gets money, that would be preferable.

Hello, R.J.HitsC, thank you for joining the discussion. It's an interesting idea to have criteria replace a list of political beneficiaries. Since you've given us a suggestion on this issue, I'd like to follow up with another related question:

Setting aside, for the moment, the "moneygetters" issue, do you support the other parts of the bill generally and do you agree with the rationale for investments, as stated in the window to the left, in this topic (3.1)?

I'd like to see something other than the G line provide Brooklyn-Queens mass transit during rush hour. Something express during rush hour. As a native NYer, I can say that Manhattan is NOT the center of the city.

2|New Transit Gap Investment Fund - 8

What the bill does: (i) Directs MTA to use revenue from the MNYM Fund to bond a new $4.567 billion Transit Gap Investment Fund (TGI Fund) for use by MTA, NYC Transit Authority, and NYC-DOT to remedy transit deserts, and other gaps in available and affordable public transit, in the 5 boroughs.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. § 97pppp(5)(g).

(ii) Creates the Transit Gap Investment Fund Board (TGIF Board) with the power to approve which projects are funded. Voting members are the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, the President of the Senate, the Mayor, the Borough Presidents of the 5 NYC boroughs, and the Speaker of the City Council (or representatives appointed by these officials); non-voting members are the president of the Transit Workers Union, the chair of the NYC Transit Riders Council, the president of the Regional Plan Association, and a representative from the transit riders advocacy community to be appointed by the President of the Senate.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. § 97pppp(5)(g).

(iii) Directs that $3.5 billion of the TGI Fund be used for network expansion projects and instructs the TGIF Board to consider the following projects for funding:

  • citywide ferry capital construction ($70M)
  • Sheridan Expressway conversion in the Bronx ($70M)
  • Triboro RX circumferential rapid transit ($1B)
  • BRT on the Northern Shore of Staten Island ($500M)
  • bike and pedestrian path widening at the Brooklyn Bridge ($19M) and construction of such paths on the Verrazano Bridge ($50 M)
  • conversion of the LIRR Atlantic Avenue line to a subway operated by NYC Transit ($750M)
  • initial work on Phase 2 of the Second Ave, subway line ($500M)
  • Manhattan crosstown corridor SBS on 14th, 42nd, 57th, 96th streets ($46M)
  • new SBS: 125th St. to LaGuardia; Webster Ave. (Bronx); Southern Brooklyn East-West corridor; Southern Bronx East-West corridor; Woodside Ave. in Queens; Utica Ave. in Brooklyn ($83M)
  • G Train extension to Queens Plaza or Queensboro Plaza with new pedestrian transfer between the two facilities ($400M)
  • free out-of-station transfers between the G line and JMZ lines at the Broadway and Hewes stations ($2M);
  • free out-of-station transfers between the G and L lines at the Broadway and Lorimer stations ($2M)
  • free out-of-station transfers between the 3 Line at Junius St. station and the L Line at Livonia Ave. station ($1M)
  • feasibility studies for reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Branch Line ($2M), and for light rail or BRT along the West Shore of Staten Island ($5M)

The TGIF Board is directed to hold public meetings at which the public can comment on funding proposals.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. §§ 97pppp(5)(g), 97pppp(5)(g-1).

(iv) Allocates the remaining $1 billion in the TGI Fund to be spent on local transit access projects (e.g., bus shelters, subway station accessibility and streetscape improvements consistent with Vision Zero) in the following amounts:

  • $300 million to Brooklyn and Queens
  • $175 million to the Bronx and Manhattan
  • $50 million to Staten Island;

Also instructs that each community board shall petition for its priority projects, and the final list of projects shall be approved in each borough at the first borough board meeting after the TFIG Board is established; requires that funding be distributed evenly, within a 10% margin, among the various community boards within the borough.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. § 97pppp(5)(g-2).

(v) Requires that the TGI Fund be allocated within 5 years, and annually audited until the money is gone.

Read the legislative language: P.A.L. § 97pppp(5)(g-3).

Rationale: A large share of NYC's recent job growth, transit ridership gains, and population growth has occurred in the four boroughs outside Manhattan, yet transit service in the boroughs has not kept pace--and the biggest losers have been the city's working poor (PDF). The TGI Fund is targeted to projects that address transit deserts and expand and rehabilitate the transportation network in all boroughs.

The largest portion of the money is under control of the TGIF Board to be used for larger expansion projects in every one of the boroughs. A billion dollars, allocated among the boroughs on the basis of population and transit needs, is under the control of the borough boards, to fund local projects proposed by the various community boards.

Comments8

Commenting is now closed.

I live beside the Brooklyn bridge and regularly walk and bicycle it. Especially summer evenings, it is almost unusably crowded. Commuting pedestrians have trouble getting around tourists; tourists can't enjoy themselves becuase they can only walk 1-2 wide; bicycles need to constantly ring their bell so space will be made.

I am very excited to see a proposed widening of the path on this list, and hope it is given high priority. Please fight for it!

Agreed. Like London post-congestion pricing, we can reallocate road space for other uses with reduced automotive volumes. Bus only lanes, bike lanes, and plazas would be hugely beneficial to residents.

The Tri-boro RX especially has the potential to revolutionize commuting patters around the city. With so much job and population growth occurring in the outer boroughs, we need new and efficient mass transportation links between these communites.

What's stop community boards or politicians from claiming they have a transit gap when they don't. everybody'll want that money. Maybe you could put down some criteria for a transit gap.

Welcome to the discussion, PhillipBeer, and thank you for your suggestion of defining “transit gap” to help make sure the money gets where it’s needed. The bill does contain a long list of big-ticket projects that the TGIF Board must consider. Do you think those are genuine transit gaps that deserve funding?

This isn't enough investment in the outer boroughs in my opinion. This bill is really only for the betterment of the "crown jewel" of NYC, Manhattan. I'm interested in seeing REAL transit expansion outside Manhattan, especially with this affecting us in the outer boroughs more than anyone. Manhattan gets everything. East -Side access, Second Ave subway, 7 train expansion. All we get is an SBS proposal here or there. Populations in the outer boroughs are booming and only expected to go up. You want people to stop driving? Give them a reason not to.

Hello, Keon Morris 1, thank you, again, for your contribution, here. Do you have any immediately implementable suggestions for the outer boroughs that might qualify as a "reason not to"?

Why does is have to be immediately implementable? This isnt going in until 2019 if it passes anyway. Is SAS immediate? ES Access? The 7 expansion? No, no and no. We need more subways to transit starved areas and faster implementation of CBTC on the current lines so we can run more trains per hour. 2 lines(7 and L) in 15 years is an absolute joke. Recent studies have shown we've already surpassed our 2020 population projection and it's only going up. Manhattan, already the most transit rich borough gets billions in new and improved lines and stations and what do we get? TOLLS! Which will go right back to funding projects in Manhattan. Duck tape fixes like a bus line here or there will not cut it. It takes decades to build lines, kicking the can down the road is not going to make the problem go away. Lastly, we need some sort of provision in this to force the city and state to do a cost analysis on subway contruction. It's another joke that it costs us 2.7 billion per mile for the SAS and 2.1 Billion for the 7 extension. Yet in other major cities like Tokyo and Paris that number can be up to 5 times less. (Berlin U55/400m per mile, Paris Metro/368m per mile, Tokyo Metro/560m per mile Source:CapitalNY)

3|Suburban transit capital projects fund - 2

What the bill does: (i) Authorizes MTA to establish through bonding a $700 million fund for suburban transit capital projects including:

  • converting Tappan Zee express bus service to a BRT line;
  • reimbursing counties that operate bus systems for up to 10% of annual operating costs;
  • investing in transit-oriented development and increased parking capacity at LIRR and Metro North stations;
  • establishing new express rates from points west of the Hudson into the City

(ii) Provides that this fund will be controlled by a board made up of the county executives of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties, plus the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and Temporary President of the Senate.

Read the legislative language P.A.L. § 97pppp(5)(h).

➤ Rationale: The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District, for which MTA is responsible, includes the suburban counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester. The new tolls will affect some suburban drivers, so these counties should get in return some new revenue for improving and expanding transportation options and amenities.

Comments2

Commenting is now closed.

Can someone explain to me why LI and Hudson Valley get funds from tolls on NYC bridges and tunnels? If this is the case the commuter tax should be reinstated. The rationale makes zero sense.

Hello, Keon Morris 1, welcome to the discussion. I think you might be referring to the part of the captial projects fund that assists LIRR and establishes new express rates from points west of the Hudson into the city. The Rationale is that all areas for which MTA is responsible or who will otherwise be affected by the bill should, in return, get some revenue for improving and expanding transportation amenities.

Keeping in mind that any alternatives must attempt to accomplish what the entire bill attempts to accomplish (e.g., reduced traffic congestion, more revenue for transportation, improved access to transit, etc.), would you be able to offer a reasonable alternative for suburban capital projects?

4|Immediate improvements to transit access - 8

What the bill does: Directs MTA to use $121 million from the MNYM Fund (Topic 3.1, category 6) to do the following:

  • increase the number and availability of express bus routes
  • reduce all express bus fares by one dollar
  • expand the City Ticket program to 7 days a week
  • expand the City Ticket program to trips taken between NYC and Far Rockaway and between Fordham and Manhattan
  • set the fare for LIRR and MNR trips taken wholly within New York to $6 peak and $4 off-peak
  • fund the Freedom Ticket proposal of the NYC Transit Riders Council (to create a single, cheaper fare alternative for trips that require a combination of commuter rail and subway or bus) and expand the pilot program throughout NYC, including all express bus routes and LIRR and Metro North stations within the City

Read the legislative language: Bill § 9.

Rationale: These changes can be rapidly implemented to lessen the impact of new tolls by providing commuters with more public transit alternatives at lower cost.

To learn more about the rationale for this part of the bill, see NY Congestion Discussion Topic 6.2 and 6.3 and Move NY Fair Plan (PDF pp. 23-25).

Comments8

Commenting is now closed.

Somehow, I don't thing these are really improvements at all. How many people in the boroughs live near LIRR and MNR stations? A City Ticket program is worthless to a person like me who is concerned about the over building of areas like Queen Plaza and Long Island City that is bringing thousands of new people to the area that are now relying on overburdened mass transit into Manhattan.

Adding more express buses may help those in the outlying areas, but I won't expect there to be a drop in traffic so significant that it would be any more efficient to get into Manhattan this way.

And if you're going to lower LIRR and MNR fares within New York, it's still quite expensive to do this twice a day on already overcrowded lines.

Overall, these are rather useless for the majority of New Yorkers that are affected by the new congestion and tolls.

Actually, there's a substantial population surrounding commuter rail stations within NYC. Commuter rail in NYC should be priced equal to the subway and buses, with transfers included.I would propose that immediate funding for Select Bus Service supersede Express buses.

I think it'd be a good idea to spell out to new yorkers just how these "immediate improvements" would immediately benefit them in such a way that they'd like overall effect of this bill. Tell me how getting from Brooklyn to central park west will now be better with the immediate improvements than with my car. Give us a bunch of cases that apply to all types of new yorkers. I think that'd help a lot.

Hello, Les14, welcome to the discussion. Thank you for your suggestion on providing specific examples of how the immediate improvements will make commuting better.

Would you be willing to tell us the length of your commute with your car and tell us how much better it'd need to be for you to see the benefit of the immediate improvements?

How about an express bus between Atlantic Avenue (Barclay Center) and Queensborough Plaza?

Thank you, envcat, for joining the discussion, and suggesting an express bus route between the Barclay Center and Queenboro Plaza.

What do you think about the overall general focus for immediate improvements (reduced express fares, increased express routes, etc.), from the six bullet points in the pane to the left?

Those are good goals.

I've just seen too many improvements focus on getting in & out of Manhattan, and I'm interested in seeing some expansion.

You might also be interested in this comment from ericamukh in Topic 3.1 (New Tolls for crossing 60th in Manhattan). ericamukh also has a focus on outside-Manhattan commuting.

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