Two days from now, the long awaited Ravitch Commission report will be delivered to Governor Patterson & legislative leaders. The report which has been in the works for months now is supposed to be “recommending strategies to fund MTA capital projects and operating needs over the next ten years.” A week ago today, the New York Times released a sneak peek at some of the proposals that are expected to be in the report.
However according to one of my favorite blogs, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s “Mobilizing The Region”, the report might contain a recommendation for improved bus service throughout the MTA’s operating region. The TSTC’s Executive Director Kate Slevin as more in this report:
Along with East River bridge tolls and additional payroll taxes, MTR has learned that improved bus service throughout the MTA region will be a key recommendation of the MTA Financing Commission led by Richard Ravitch.
Along with those proposals, insiders tell MTR that Ravitch is likely to recommend improved bus service, including increased investment in bus rapid transit and the establishment of a MTA Regional Bus Authority. The latter would take control of suburban bus systems like Long Island Bus and Westchester’s Bee-Line Bus, potentially ending the annual battles over funding and resulting in substantial service improvements for bus riders.
Click here for the complete report.
I strongly agree with the sentiment that more money should be invested in ways to improve bus service. Such initiatives as Select Bus Service have proven to be a success & would be a welcome addition to many routes in our region.
As far as a regional authority taking over suburban bus operations is concerned, I would love to hear more details on how it would be done. While I have stated many times that I have never rode or choose to ride Long Island Bus, I know plenty who have or continue to do so. If such an authority can help improve bus service & funding, I feel it is a no-brainer that it must be considered.
xoxo Transit Blogger