Governor Hochul: “We anticipate that there’ll be no fare hikes for the MTA. So therefore, those of you who are commuters on the MTA and have been anxious about how much this is going to go up, especially in this era of inflationI’m really excited to say that we will not have to raise the fairs or have any service cuts. The service cuts that were planned for 2023 and 2024 are now off the table for MTA commuters.”
Governor Kathy Hochul earlier today announced at the Albany International Airport, ahead of her departure for the White House for the Infrastructure bill signing, that there will be no MTA fare hikes this year, and that service cuts are off the table through 2024. Governor Hochul praised the move as a way for the city to recover from COVID, providing continued robust transit service.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks are available below:
“Good morning and thank you Phil and I am a little bit rushed this morning but what a great reason to be here in this extraordinary airport. I’ve been here many times Phil as we announced new improvements, new lines for some of the airlines and just talk about how we can expand services so thank you for your leadership.
Also we are joined by Sam the Airport Board President and the great work he does on behalf on the NYS Firefighters Association and my fabulous partners in local government. Mayor Kathy Sheehan and our County Executive Dan McCoy, who has worked with me so closely on many projects. We are very excited to be embarking on a flight right now to leave to go to Washington D.C. I was invited by President Biden along with a select number of governors from states that will be recipients of this funding.
This is a $1.2 trillion generational opportunity to transform infrastructure in America. And I feel like this is long overdue, it has been long overdue. As a young staffer and attorney for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was on the infrastructure committee, we talked about projects like these and investing money earlier so that the cost does not continue to rise. And that’s why this is so smart.
I want to thank Senator Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all the people who stood up to cast the vote that made this happen. And in order for them to know we are appreciative, I am going to make sure that they know that we are giving credit where credit is due. And it took a lot of negotiation, a lot of involvement of a lot of people and I want to thank our local partners as well as our federal partners for getting this done.
What this means. Billions of dollars coming to the state of New York for critical and long overdue infrastructure projects. More than 14 billion dollars for New York roads and bridges, 10.5 billion for our transit systems across our state, 3 billion for clean water, 100 million for continued broadband deployment, something that we hear about every single day. I continue as Governor and no longer as Lt. Governor, but I still travel the state, I know the vulnerability when our cellphone drops and we say why. So we have to get that fixed as well.
As well as hundreds of millions of dollars for climate resiliency projects across the state. What this means is we will have the 21st century infrastructure that we deserve and to make sure that we focus on projects all the way across the state from the I-81 project in Syracuse, something that was a relic of days past and has divided communities since the days I was a young student at Syracuse University. All the way to Penn Station where I declared that commuters deserve a world-class experience when they visit as well as our visitors from around the world. So the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help New York create thousands of jobs across the state.
That’s what gets me so excited. This is an opportunity in this post-pandemic world to let people know, get the skills, go into apprenticeship programs, get trained. There’s jobs, waiting for you to help rebuild this great state after we were knocked down so far.
We’re going to come back even stronger, even better than before. And I spent a lot of years in local government as well. So when people talk about the need for the infrastructure that you don’t see underground, the water, the sewer connections, the storm water drainage programs that we can build better resilience in, so I never have to walk the streets of a place like East Elmhurst in Queens and see people’s homes flooded and devastated because they just couldn’t withstand the amount of water. This is what our opportunity is before us right now. And I’m looking forward to embrace this. We are at an airport. I want to thank again my local partners.
Money for airports is critically important. Yes, this is people’s first impression when they come to a community. You could off the plane, you’ll walk through, you take a look around. Is this a community that is proud of itself? Is this something that they want to send a message that this is a community that truly matters? And for too long, our upstate airports were overlooked. They didn’t have the funding they required. So we will be receiving, our local airport here, $28.6 million for the Albany Airport. We’ll modernize the runways we’ll reduce noise and continue new investments right here in this terminal. I also look forward to not just working with President Biden, but his brand new recently named czar of infrastructure spending.
I’ll be on speed dial with Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, someone we’re going to develop a very close relationship, and to make sure that everyone understands how important this is. So I’m looking forward to going back. If you catch me on the end of the day, I hope to have a big bag of money in my hands – bringing it back for the State of New York, because this is an investment, not just on infrastructure.
Infrastructure is a term that a lot of people can’t quite get their arms around. This is an investment for New York State families. This means that parents do not have to worry about the safety of the water that comes out of the tap for their babies and children to drink. That when people are in their cars, and I know I have a personal experience at just about every pothole in the State of New York. This, this affects your image of a community. The curbs are run down and you’re feeling that there’s just too many potholes and it’s affecting just your overall wellbeing. We can fix those potholes. This is about quality of life issues.
And also again, broadband. How important it is for our rural and urban areas. We talked about the great digital divide that was absolutely exacerbated by what we went through, and kids had to be learning from home and people couldn’t apply for jobs because they don’t have access to internet or even to apply for school scholarships.
I’ve seen this way too often, but I’m real excited to make one more announcement. We’ve done the numbers. And as a result of the money we’ll be receiving from the president signing the bill today, I’ll be witnessing this. We anticipate that there’ll be no fare hikes for the MTA. So therefore, those of you who are commuters on the MTA and have been anxious about how much this is going to go up, especially in this era of inflation, when it just seems when you’re just trying to get your head above water and come out from under a long dark period of the pandemic, and you might get a little bit more money in your paycheck, that the cost of living from gasoline to the cost of turkeys in another week and a half, this is really affecting people’s ability to just put food on their table. And I’m really excited to say that we will not have to raise the fairs or have any service cuts. The service cuts that were planned for 2023 and 2024 are now off the table for MTA commuters.
So this is important. We’ll look forward to working with our stakeholders. Keep investing, keep spending the money. And with that, I’ll take a couple of questions, again thank my partners. There’ll be willing to stay and take some questions afterward about very specifically how this money will be spent and Phil can join in to describe this, but I’m not going to keep the president waiting more than a couple minutes.
So thank you for joining us today. I’m really excited about this as Governor of the state of New York, who will preside over the comeback of New York State, the timing could not be better. And again, I’m so grateful for our partners in Washington, starting with president Joe Biden, for making this happened for millions of New Yorkers who remember this day is the day that we turned the corner.
We were able to start rebuilding and making up for decades of lost time when the money should have been there. And Joe Biden and our allies in the Senate and the Congress were able to make it happen for us. So thank you.”