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State Senate gives NFTA riders a voice in major transit decisions

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 05:57:02-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — NFTA riders are one step closer to having a seat at the table that makes major decisions for the transit network.

On Tuesday, the New York State Senate passed legislation that will, if made into law, require the appointment of a transit dependent and para-transit dependent representative on the NFTA's Board of Commissioners.

It's something riders have been fighting for for many years, according to the bill's sponsor, Sen. Tim Kennedy.

"We will have riders on these authority boards that will be part of making the decisions that have an impact not only on our regional economy for the sake of public transportation and their needs, but also on a very personal level, the voices of riders are going to be heard loud and clear," Kennedy told 7 Eyewitness News.

Kennedy has his sights on a number of NFTA-related spending projects, including a $1.6 billion light rail expansion and a proposed $100 million five year capital spending plan for light rail.

"The fact that these riders are now going to be on the board are going to allow the board to take into consideration issues that they may not even know about without the input from those that use the system each and every day," Kennedy said.

Kennedy believes the legislation passed on Tuesday will bolster momentum to keep focus on the much-needed transit upgrades in Western New York.

This is a developing story. More to come...