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Straphangers Tell Albany to Save Transit

Straphangers from across New York City headed to Albany on Wednesday to meet with representatives and tell them: We can't afford the doomsday fare hikes and service cuts looming for our subways and buses, and we support bridge tolls as a fair and equitable solution to fund transit.

Be sure to visit Keep New York Moving to access a vault of cold hard facts that will send you running to Albany with a pitchfork. Of course, if you're from Ruben Diaz, Sr.'s district, you'll probably be taking a taxi.

<p align="justify"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[intro music]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Cate Contino</i>: [00:03] We’re on the Keep New York Moving bus to Albany, and Keep New York Moving is a joint campaign of Campaign for New York’s Future and the Empire State Transportation Alliance. People that we’re here with today are riders and constituents and voters across the city of New York, people who really stand a lot to lose if the State legislation fails to take action to solve the MTA’s financial woes. And this is democracy in action. This is how the process happens in Albany and the more people, real, real New York people that these members hear from, the better chance we have of coming up on top of the riders. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Veronica Vanterpool</i>: [00:38] We’re frankly the ones that are going to be impacted, so there’s a lot of emotion there, a lot of concern, a lot of worry as we reach out to our officials asking them to help us, especially during this economic time.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [00:49] I told my State Senator I’ve been unemployed for five months. The maximum unemployment benefit per week is $405. If the fares go up to $103, that’s a quarter of a weekly benefit. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [01:02] You’re playing politics with peoples’ pocket books and lives at a time when nobody can afford it. And I will do everything in my power, if we do not rectify this situation, to get you voted out of office. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Gene Russianoff</i>: [01:15] We support the Ravitch Plan which is a plan put together by a commissioner appointed by Governor Patterson and headed by a former MTA Chairman, Richard Ravitch. And it’s a very sensible principle which is that those who benefit from transit should pay. So there’s a modest fare hike in the mix, there are tolls for drivers who use the East River and Harlem River bridges, and there’s a payroll tax in the 12 county down State region. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Senator Diane Savino</i>: [01:47] His proposal includes things that are problematic for a lot of people. There are some members who don’t want to… who don’t want to impose this mobility tax because they claim it’s going to hurt small businesses or school districts or hospitals. Other people are more opposed to the East River bridge tolls. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [02:05] 95% of the commuters who come into the central business district of Manhattan are getting there by using the subways and the buses, and only about 5% are taking the three East River bridges. So we thought it was a brilliant compromise that Speaker Silver came to with the idea of $2 tolls. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [02:22] The people in my area will not be inconvenienced because they have to pay $2, which is the situation with people who own the cars. The people in my area will be wiped out, all of a sudden they lose their mobility, complete mobility. They can’t go and find work. If they have a job they may not be able to get work.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [02:43] One of my concerns, I actually manage a restaurant in midtown, I live in Brooklyn. Basically all of my 50 employees take the train, ride the bus. I have two people that walk, two people that ride the bike, one of which is myself, and everybody else takes the train. And with all the service cuts, it really affects most of the people that work for me, a lot of the customers that I get and also just personally more cars on the bridges, more cars on the streets is worse for me as a cyclist. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Senator Liz Krueger</i>: [03:11] We know that mass transit is the right direction for New York City to go, from an environmental perspective and from an ability to grow by up to a million people in the next few years. But we know that we have to invest in that system or it won’t be there for us. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Speaker</i>: [03:27] We need to really concentrate on climate change, bring about a new economy that will provide jobs, livelihoods and so forth for so many people that are in need. Transportation has to be the life blood to get people where they need to go.</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font></p> <a href="http://transcriptdivas.ca/">Transcript Divas Transcription Services </a>
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  • Dave & Sonie Hunn

    Nice job Robin! I wish the straphangers good fortune.

  • http://www.velib.paris.fr/comment_ca_marche Sim

    Do you know, of course, the parisians experience,.... Velib?

    http://www.velib.paris.fr/comment_ca_marche