Conditions the institution of any substantial change in surface route or rapid transit route service upon approval by the metropolitan transportation authority and committee on operations of the NYC transit authority and upon public hearing; sets allotted individual and aggregate speaking time during such hearings.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring public notice and hearing prior to any planned substantial change in service
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow for public comment and adequate notice thereof, prior to the implementation of proposed changes in the levels of subway or bus service; and to encourage public speaking at board and committee meetings by specifying minimum speaking times to be allotted to each speaker.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1205 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9:
Requires NYCTA to obtain approval by resolution of the committee on operations of the NYCTA and the MTA Board to hold a public hearing in the affected county(ies) prior to any substantial change in service.
* Defines a substantial change in service. * Requires further hearings for additional changes if substantial changes in service were made within previous three years. * Includes complete or partial closing of a passenger station as a substantial change * Defines notice of hearing(s) to be given to affected communities * Requires posters describing proposed change at affected stations and on buses on affected routes, where detailed information is available and date, time and place of hearing(s) and right of public to speak.
Paragraph (c) of subdivision 4 of section 1263 of the public authorities law as added by chapter 247 of the laws of 1990 is amended.
* Describes allowable public speaking * Requires that public comments be recorded in the minutes * Requires agendas for the meeting(s) be made available to the public.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation has four objectives:
(1) Provide Sunshine Law for NYCTA Service Changes. The legislation will insure that the data collection and analysis performed by the NYCTA prior to proposing a service change is adequate, and is subject to detailed scrutiny by the MTA board and the public. Most of the data collection and analysis stipulated in this legislation is already being performed by NYCTA planning staff However, when the NYCTA proposes service changes, minimal information is presented to the board, and even less to the public. The quality of NYCTA's service change planning will be significantly improved by opening up the process to detailed public scrutiny.
(2) Provide public Input Before Service Changes are Implemented. The legislation will give the public the opportunity to comment on the
technical analysis presented by NYCTA staff, and also to present other relevant issues. Service changes on buses and subways often have impacts on riders that are not apparent from studying ridership figures alone. Many New Yorkers decide where to live based on available mass transit and, especially for the elderly and disabled, a service change that may appear minor may have a major impact on the quality of rider's lives. Because such facts are often not apparent from ridership studies alone, a public hearing is essential to bring to light information that may otherwise be unavailable Public hearings would therefore allow those affected by cuts and other interested parties to present important information to the committee on NYCTA operators for its consideration.
(3) Improve Public Speaking at MTA Board and Committee Meetings. The legislation strengthens requirements concerning public speaking at meetings of the MTA Board and its committees. Currently, the MTA discourages public speakers by limiting their comments to a maximum of two minutes; by restricting comments to topics on the agenda, while making the agenda unavailable to the public until minutes before each meeting; and by not recording the comments of public speakers in the minutes. The legislation is specifically designed to correct these abuses. It stipulates that more adequate speaking times shall be provided and may be shortened only when, necessary to permit the Board to proceed with its agenda within a reasonable time, and it requires that agendas shall be available for public inspection at easily accessible locations throughout MTA's service territory well in advance of each meeting of the MTA Board and each of its committees.
(4) Enhance Oversight by MTA Board An intended and desirable effect of this legislation is that MTA Board members, as well as the public, shall have at least seven days to review agendas for meetings of the MTA Board and its committees. Currently, nothing prevents the MTA from giving draft agendas to Board members as little as forty-eight hours prior to a committee or Board meeting, and final agendas only a few hours prior to a committee meeting. At a typical meeting, the MTA Board is asked to authorize the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars, and frequently-hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds by guaranteeing that Board members shall have at least seven days to review proposed MTA expenditures, this legislation will significantly enhance the MTA--Board's ability to discharge its responsibilities.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This bill has been introduced in previous legislative sessions.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 466 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring public notice and hearing prior to any planned substantial change in service THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1205 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to read as follows: 9. (A) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE" MEANS: (I) ANY CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF SERVICE OF A SURFACE ROUTE OR RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE WHICH RESULTS IN A CHANGE OF TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OR MORE DURING ANY TWO CONSECUTIVE HOURS AT ANY RAPID TRANSIT STATION, OR ON ANY PORTION AT LEAST ONE-HALF MILE IN LENGTH OF ANY SURFACE ROUTE, COMPARED WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF SERVICE PROVIDED DURING THE SAME SUCH HOURS IN THE PREVIOUS THREE YEARS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE FREQUENCY ON SUCH ROUTE AT SUCH HOURS HAS BEEN IMPLE- MENTED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION WITHIN THE PREVIOUS THREE YEARS, ANY SUBSEQUENT CHANGE IN SERVICE SHALL BE DEEMED SUBSTAN- TIAL ONLY IF IT RESULTS IN A CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF SERVICE OF TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OR MORE DURING ANY TWO CONSECUTIVE HOURS AT ANY RAPID TRANSIT STATION, OR ON ANY PORTION AT LEAST ONE-HALF MILE IN LENGTH OF ANY SURFACE ROUTE, COMPARED WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF SERVICE PROVIDED DURING THE SAME SUCH HOURS DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME COMMENCING WITH THE DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH PRECEDING SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE; OR (II) ANY COMPLETE OR PARTIAL CLOSING OF A PASSENGER STATION WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, OR ANY MEANS OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO SUCH FACILITY.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00747-01-3 S. 466 2
(B) ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, NO SUBSTAN- TIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE FURNISHED UPON THE RAPID TRANSIT FACILITIES OR THE OMNIBUS LINE FACILITIES OF THE AUTHORITY SHALL BE INSTITUTED, EXCEPT UPON APPROVAL BY RESOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE ON OPERATIONS OF THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY AND APPROVAL BY RESOLUTION OF THE METROPOL- ITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, AND ONLY AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING OR HEAR- INGS HELD BY THE BOARD OF THE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY IN THE COUNTY OR COUNTIES WHEREIN THE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN SERVICE WILL HAVE AN IMPACT. SUCH HEARING SHALL BE HELD NOT LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER NOTICE OF SUCH PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO, AND COMMENTS SOLICITED FROM, THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY ADVISORY COUNCIL AND THE COMMUNITY BOARD OR BOARDS AS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE NEW YORK CITY CHARTER WHOSE AREAS OF JURISDICTION INCLUDE PART OR ALL OF THE SURFACE OR RAPID TRANSIT ROUTE, OR PASSENGER STATION, AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE. NOTICE ACCOMPANIED BY THE INFORMATION SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (C) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC AT DESIGNATED LOCATIONS IN THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE, INCLUDING AT LEAST ONE LOCATION WITHIN THE AREA OF JURISDICTION OF EACH AFFECTED COMMUNITY BOARD. (C) NOTICE SHALL INCLUDE: (I) A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE, INCLUDING ANY PROPOSED CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF SERVICE; A DIAGRAM OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES, IF ANY, IN THE ROUTE SERVED; A MAP OR DIAGRAM OF AFFECTED ACCESS FACILITIES AT PASSENGER STATIONS. (II) A PRESENTATION OF THE DATA OBTAINED BY THE AUTHORITY ON NUMBERS AND PATTERNS OF RIDERS AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED CHANGE. (III) A DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY USED BY THE AUTHORITY IN OBTAINING SUCH DATA, INCLUDING THE DATES AND TIMES ON WHICH COUNTS OF RIDERS WERE TAKEN. (IV) THE PROJECTED IMPACT ON PASSENGERS, INCLUDING THE AVERAGE INCREASE IN WAITING TIMES, IF ANY, AND THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS AFFECTED BY SUCH INCREASE; AND THE VALUE OF THE COSTS OR BENEFITS TO PASSENGERS, OBTAINED BY ASSIGNING A DOLLAR VALUE TO PASSENGERS' TIME, AND TO FACTORS SUCH AS CROWDING, SENSE OF SECURITY, AND OTHERS. (V) THE FINANCIAL IMPACT ON THE AUTHORITY, INCLUDING ANY COST SAVINGS EXPECTED TO BE REALIZED BY THE AUTHORITY. (VI) A PROJECTION OF THE IMPACT ON RIDERSHIP. AT EACH AFFECTED STATION AND ON BUSES OPERATING ON EACH AFFECTED BUS ROUTE, POSTERS SHALL BE DISPLAYED PROVIDING A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED SERVICE CHANGE, IDENTIFYING THE LOCATIONS AT WHICH THE INFORMA- TION REQUIRED BY THIS PARAGRAPH IS ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC, INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF THE DATE, TIME, AND PLACE OF THE PUBLIC HEARING OR HEAR- INGS AND OF THE BOARD MEETING AT WHICH THE CHANGE WILL BE ON THE AGENDA, AND STATING THAT THE PUBLIC MAY SPEAK AT SUCH MEETING PURSUANT TO PARA- GRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION TWELVE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE. THE PUBLIC SHALL BE NOTIFIED OF ANY CHANGE IN THE TIME AND PLACE OF SUCH HEARING OR HEARINGS AND OF SUCH BOARD MEETING BY NOTICES AT ALL OF THE ABOVE LOCATIONS. (D) THE AUTHORITY SHALL PERFORM PASSENGER COUNTS ON THE AFFECTED SERVICES SIX MONTHS AFTER IMPLEMENTATION OF EACH SUBSTANTIAL SERVICE CHANGE. SUCH COUNTS, ACCOMPANIED BY THE ORIGINAL PROJECTIONS OF IMPACT ON RIDERSHIP, SHALL BE REPORTED TO THE BOARD AND THE PUBLIC. (E) THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN SERVICE WITH A PROJECTED DURATION OF LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS, NOR TO SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN SERVICE RESULTING FROM AN EMERGENCY SUCH THATS. 466 3
PUBLIC HEARINGS CANNOT TAKE PLACE WITHOUT IMPERILING THE SAFETY OF PASSENGERS. S 2. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 4 of section 1263 of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 247 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: (c) The
[chairman]CHAIRPERSON shall ensure that at every meeting of the board and at every meeting of each committee the public shall be allotted a period of time, not less than thirty minutes, to speak on any topic on the agenda. EACH SPEAKER SHALL BE ALLOTTED NOT LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES OF SPEAKING TIME, EXCEPT THAT WHEN THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED SPEAKERS IS SUCH THAT THE THIRTY MINUTE DURATION WOULD BE SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDED, THE ALLOTTED SPEAKING TIMES MAY BE REDUCED TO NOT LESS THAN THREE MINUTES. THE CHAIRPERSON MAY, AT HIS OR HER DISCRETION, END THE PUBLIC SPEAKING PERIOD AFTER SEVENTY-FIVE MINUTES. AGENDAS FOR EVERY MEETING OF THE BOARD AND EVERY MEETING OF EACH COMMITTEE THEREOF SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION BY THE PUBLIC NOT LESS THAN SEVEN DAYS PRIOR TO EACH MEETING AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE AUTHORITY AND AT LEAST ONE DESIGNATED LOCATION WITHIN EACH COUNTY WHERE THE AUTHORITY PROVIDES SERVICE. THE MINUTES OF EACH MEETING SHALL RECORD THE COMMENTS OF THE PUBLIC SPEAKERS WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF DETAIL AS IS ACCORDED TO ANY OTHER PART OF THE AGENDA. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.