FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO PURCHASE 300 BUSES FOR THE MTA BUS COMPANY
Buses Will Replace Aging Fleet in City’s Franchised Bus Companies
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Peter Kalikow today announced the allocation of $132 million in federal funding that will enable the MTA Bus Company to purchase approximately 300 new express and local buses to improve public transportation in the areas currently served by the City's franchised bus companies. These buses are in addition to 125 new buses that were purchased last week by the MTA. Mayor Bloomberg and Chairman Kalikow expressed their gratitude to Congressman John Sweeney, whose efforts led to the passage of the federal appropriations bill permitting these funds to be used by the MTA.
"This is great news for New Yorkers," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The combination of the buses ordered last week by the MTA and the availability of these additional funds is a significant milestone in the transition of service to the MTA Bus Company. In the last week, we have established specific deadlines for the transfer of each bus company and obtained the funding for the purchase of new buses for one-third of the fleet."
"I am delighted to know that these funds will be used to purchase much-needed new buses that will replace aging fleets that are prone to breakdowns and expensive repairs," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "Although it is not yet clear when these buses will hit the streets, the wheels of progress are now turning and will provide long-awaited relief for hundreds of thousands of daily riders in Queens. A takeover timetable has been established and we can now move forward with the purchase of these buses as cold temperatures and the holiday season are upon us. I also want to thank Congress and the Mayor for responding to the urgent needs of riders in Queens."
In addition, to the $132 million in new resources, $242 million remains available in a reserve established by the MTA Board for further bus improvements. Use of these funds, as well as the federal monies is dependant upon approval by the MTA Capital Program Review Board. The Board has already unanimously allocated $80 million to upgrade bus service.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958