Today, the State Senate confirmed my appointment to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. I want to thank members of the State Senate for approving my appointment, Governor Cuomo for nominating me, and Mayor de Blasio for recommending me to fill one of the four New York City seats on the Board.
Our mass transit system is the life-blood of our economy. It moves more than six million people every day, helping them get to work, school and to everything else the city has to offer. But the system is also clearly showing signs of strain from an aging infrastructure, growing demand for more service and the lack of alternate revenue streams to support its burgeoning capital needs.
I look forward to working with my fellow Board members, and MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast, on the challenges facing our diverse public transportation system, not the least of which is equalizing the way New Yorkers of different economic backgrounds access the system.
As the most transit-dependent city in the nation, it is imperative that we make transportation affordable and equitable so that transit affordability becomes synonymous with upward mobility. That means being able to get to work reliably, find a better job, enroll in training or classes, and get health care. This is critically-important for the city’s working poor, who spend more than 10 percent of their annual income on transit fares and rely most heavily on the system.