A bill to shed light on the performance of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has passed the state Legislature and if signed, will direct the agency to release all of its data into a format for an open data portal.
The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), would open budget, finance, ridership, routes and service information to every citizen.
“Streamlined access to critical data on subway, bus, and commuter rail performance will go a long way in restoring the public’s trust and confidence in the MTA,” said Comrie. “Our legislation is an important step in the direction of enhanced accountability and transparency.”
NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, a city-based transit advocacy group, believes that by revealing the data that it will restore the public’s trust in the MTA, because there is a crucial role that information will play in the well-being of the Big Apple’s transit system.
“Public accountability builds public trust, and public trust is what builds back ridership at the MTA,” said Jaqi Cohen, campaign director for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign.
TheRiders Alliance, a grassroots public transit group, concurred.
“The future of our transit infrastructure rests on public trust in our institutions and democracy itself,” said Danny Pearlstein, the policy and communications director for Riders Alliance. “More than ever, as New York recovers both from the horrors of the pandemic and the Orwellian cast of the Trump era, subway, bus, and paratransit riders need our public officials to be transparent and accountable.”
Pearlstein strongly hopes that Gov. Cuomo sees the light on the bill and sign s it into in law sooner rather than later.
“Shining a bright light on how the MTA operates will better help riders ...have a better idea of the agency’s challenges and achievements,” said Executive Director Lisa Daglin of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
There was no comment from Cuomo’s office at this time.