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NFTA riders want to be on the board

Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 18:11:51-05

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Dozens of public transit riders joined politicians in front of Utica Station Friday afternoon wanting more routes, extended hours and more timeliness.

“You may not get any service on the weekends or at night and that means you’re not going to have access to the community. It also means you’re not going to have easy access to jobs," Andrew Marcum says, who rides the bus everyday to work and lives with a disability. “If you’re a person with a disability it’s even more difficult because you’re even more transit dependent and you’re doubly disadvantaged.”

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy joined other public officials to propose a bill that would put NFTA riders on it's board of commissioners. At the moment there is one rider on the board, but according to officials, she does not get the opportunity to vote.

The NFTA sent this statement to 7 Eye Witness News:

“While the NFTA is not involved in the process of board appointments, we do recognize the importance of rider input and that is why over 6 years ago we created the Citizen Advisory Committee which is a diverse group that includes many riders and groups dependent upon our service. We are also proud of the diversity of our board and their dedication to our mission. Through them we have proudly achieved a 90% customer satisfaction rating among our Metro riders based on an independent survey of over 9,700 riders, as well as the J.D. Power #1 ranking in customer satisfaction at our airport.”

Affordability was the overwhelming reason that public transit riders elected to take buses and other forms of public transportation. According to the Partnership for Public Good nearly 60% of jobs in the Buffalo Niagara region exist beyond public transit boundaries.

“Reliable public transit is not a luxury, it’s a necessity," Marcum says.

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