Letter: Funding public transportation helps everyone

Editor, The Spotlight:

Governor Cuomo’s executive budget proposal increases support for transit services, demonstrating his commitment to getting our economy moving. Additional operating assistance will allow CDTA to meet the Capital Region’s growing transportation needs and help drive our economy.

The Governor’s vision to recognize the importance of public transit in these turbulent economic times is encouraging. Investing in our transportation infrastructure comes at a time when demand for CDTA services is near record levels. We have developed an innovative business model to increase ridership while improving efficiency. As a result, we will serve close to 14.5 million customers this year, one of our highest annual ridership counts in a quarter century.

The impact goes beyond bus rides. Taking people to work is the most important thing that we do. In fact, 70% of our customers use CDTA services to get to and from work each day. We employ almost 650 people in jobs that help businesses prosper and grow. We work to get the Capital Region to work.

This is all exciting news, but with rising operating costs and farebox revenues accounting for only 20% of our operation, we face challenges in finding long term solutions that support service operations and meet increasing demand.

We will work with Governor Cuomo, members of the State Legislature and our community partners to develop long-term, stable funding streams to meet people’s mobility needs. This community driven approach will improve and enhance the quality of life for everybody that lives and works in the Capital Region.

Carm Basile

Chief Executive Officer

Capital District Transportation Authority

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