In his State of the State Address on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to “improve or replace more than 100 bridges,” build a new Tappan Zee Bridge and repair 2,000 miles of roads, but did not promise anything concrete for improving the city's public transportation.
According to the Straphangers Campaign, over the past three years New York City has suffered the worst service cuts and fare hikes in recent memory: 36 bus routes and 570 bus stops have been eliminated and two subway lines have been axed.
The Park Slope area has seen the elimination of the B71, B75 and B77 buses and the B61 route, which was elongated to help ease the burden of commuters who relied on the now defunct buses, .
Service to 15th Street-Prospect Park and Fort Hamilton Parkway on .
Service in both directions on the same trains at Smith-Ninth Street station has also been suspended until this spring.
“Investments by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority help protect the reliability of the transportation network that supports the metropolitan New York regional economy and 8.5 million riders a day,” Cuomo said during his speech. “MTA capital investment is also a major driver of economic activity and infrastructure development…We will continue to work with the Legislature to support the MTA capital program, not only for the system’s 8.5 million daily riders, but also for manufacturing in the state.”
But Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that advocates better public transportation, walking and bicycling throughout the city, said Cuomo has left New Yorkers without sufficient and affordable public transportation.
“The State of New York’s public transit is poor,” said Steely White. “From Buffalo to Brooklyn, New Yorkers are losing affordable public transit options because of the fare hikes and service cuts that are the result of a chronic lack of transit funding. To protect businesses and jobs in this state, Governor Cuomo would do well to consider the millions of businesses around the state that are wed to transit.”
He continued: "Fully funding public transit not only helps get millions of people to work every day, it creates good-paying jobs for New Yorkers.”