Upcoming decision over MTA reorganization is an opportunity to regain public trust

May 22, 2019

Disability Justice, Legislative, News

Photo of subway platform

NYLPI has signed on, along with other environmental and good governance organizations, to a letter to Patrick Foye, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, urging him to ensure that the upcoming discussion over the reorganization of the MTA is public, transparent, and consultative:

Reorganizations can be costly and disruptive, which is a significant concern to transit riders weary of service problems. The MTA has been seeking to restore the public’s trust. Ensuring the discussion over the pending reorganization is open and consultative will help show the public and our elected representatives that the MTA is truly acting in the public interest. The priority must continue to be on providing safe, reliable and consistent service at levels that serve the needs of the riding public.

The state budget requires the MTA’s consultant, AlixPartners, to give its plan to the MTA Board by June 30, 2019. This plan should be made public at that date, including any accompanying analyses. AlixPartners is also conducting a “review” of waste, fraud, abuse, conflicts of interest, duplications of functions, etc, which is due to the MTA by July 31, 2019. Under law, the “review” is to be made public within 30 days of receipt by the MTA; ideally, this should be made public as soon as it is received by the MTA Board given the short window of time for adopting the reorganization plan. Within 90 days of receipt of this “review,” the reorganization plan is to be updated by “the authority” to incorporate its findings.

It is our understanding that the MTA Board, acting as the authority, will vote on a final reorganization plan sometime before the end of October 2019. Well before a plan is released or voted on, we urge the MTA board and staff to energetically reach out to public stakeholders, including riders groups, unions, advocates, and elected representatives, and publicly consult with them about potential recommendations. This would be best done outside of the MTA Board meeting process, which limits public engagement to 2 minute presentations and does not allow a dialogue to occur.

You can read the whole letter here.

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