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An interview with Michael Fleischer

Senior Advisor, Brown & Weinraub

Michael Fleischer

Michael Fleischer Timothy H. Raab & Northern Photo

What is the state of mass transit in New York?

With the pending implementation of congestion pricing and continued progress toward the Hudson Tunnel Project, New York is at a critical point in making transformative investments in its transit infrastructure. The Hudson Tunnel Project is crucial to the region’s economy and using revenue from congestion pricing to improve New York’s subways and buses is an essential step in providing more robust transit options to reduce congestion and pollution on the city’s streets. Other major projects include the Interborough Express project to connect Brooklyn and Queens, and the expansion of infrastructure to support the use of electric and hybrid buses while addressing transit deserts and improving first and last mile connections.

What policy issues are you focused on in 2024?

Our team is focused on identifying funding opportunities for low-emissions buses for transit and school systems, alternative aviation fuels and other incentives to build the infrastructure necessary to encourage the use of mass transit. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s housing agenda, which focuses on infill development and transit-oriented development, is an excellent stepping stone toward the future of transit – the purpose of good transit after all is to improve connections between people’s homes, jobs, entertainment areas and local businesses. We’re continuing to look at policy changes that promote growth and sustainability in mass transportation. New York’s emissions reduction goals are linked to transit and it’s crucial for communities and public and private stakeholders to be aligned in their strategies.

 What are the challenges facing improving New York’s transportation system?

Funding and construction timelines are the biggest challenges in achieving New York’s transportation goals, from lowering emissions to expanding transportation options, including enhanced rail and transit connections to upstate New York. Public-private partnerships, dedicated funding streams and incentives for businesses all play a role in supporting our small and large transit systems. Meeting New York’s emissions reduction and transportation goals will require continued substantial investment now and ongoing partnerships from a variety of stakeholders.