Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota wants New York City’s mayoral candidates to begin talking about transportation – even though few have officially declared – and its business elite to think more about transportation as the city’s economic lifeblood. “I need your help, I need all of your help to become transit advocates,” he said at yesterday’s Crain’s Business Breakfast. Afterward, Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Noah Budnick agreed that transportation is an issue that no public official, from the mayor on down, can avoid. “It stares everybody in the face every day,” Budnick said. “It’s an issue that the next mayor can really own, and not just as a policy plank but as a way to make the city a better place to live.” Budnick liked how Lhota reiterated that elected officials are responsible for transit funding. “There’s a great divide between rail riders and elected representatives,” he said. “Tomorrow when transit riders are in the voting booth, the question to think about is voting for someone supportive of investments for transit or someone who will strip service away and cause fares to rise through the roof.”
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