This week, eight groups (including NYLCV) released a proposal called “Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates.” In it, they outlined steps that candidates for a range of city government positions must take in order to improve transportation infrastructure and access to transit across the city. The agenda comes at a moment when New York City is in desperate need of transportation reform, while at the same time candidates are vying for a variety of positions including Mayor, City Council, Borough President, Comptroller and Public Advocate.
In order to improve existing subway infrastructure, the proposal called for increased funding from Albany and from local options like real estate value capture so that it can handle the 5.7 million subway trips taken on an average weekday. It also advocated for doubling bicycling by 2020 in the City through additional bike lines and an expansion of affordable bike shares into all five boroughs. Buses also, need to make improvements in order to be become a more reliable and efficient mode of transportation.
The report also focused on expanding access to public transit so that all New Yorkers have the opportunity for mobility. Like expanding affordable bike share, access to buses can also be spread throughout the city, especially access to express buses. Looking forward to the shut-down of the L train, the proposal also stressed the importance of protecting L-train riders so that they can continue to commute.
All in all, the report highlighted a few major steps that candidates for city government can take to improve transportation and make it accessible to all New Yorkers on the path towards a greener, healthier, and more equitable city. Public transportation and zero-carbon modes like walking and biking are vital to reducing our climate impact, and in order for New York City to meet its aggressive 80 x 50 goals, city government candidates must make transportation a priority.