Governor suggests 50/50 split of transit plan costs after first meeting between MTA NYC Transit President and Mayor

NEW YORK — Riders have been calling for city leaders to fix the trains and buses for years.

For the first time, Mayor Bill de Blasio sat down with the new head of New York City Transit at City Hall on Tuesday.

The ninety-minute meeting focused on funding sources for maintenance and improvement projects.

MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford, who started in mid-January, has been talking about the need for partners at all levels of government to fund billions of dollars in plans to add more trains and update the signal system.

Mayor de Blasio has said the state needs to find a dedicated revenue stream for transit and he called again for a tax on Millionaires.

At a media availability on Thursday, Governor Cuomo said the state and city should split the costs.

"By law, New York City is obligated to pay the capital because they own it. The MTA manages it for them," Governor Cuomo stated, according to a transcript. City officials say the state is responsible for the MTA, with some funding from the city.

The city added about $2.5 billion dollars to the recent capital improvement plan. The state will contribute $8.3 billion.

The legislature and Governor adopted the first phase of a congestion pricing plan this session. It will add a fee to for-hire vehicles and taxis in 2019. The city and state split the cost of the $800 million emergency action plan with an act of the legislature (after the city initially refused to contribute).

PIX11 News Reporter Greg Mocker talked to riders Tuesday evening at 61st Street-Woodside about the transit system. The station is undergoing structural reconstruction through the end of July. Riders are hoping to see improvements.

MTA NYC Transit officials say the subway action plan (which began in the summer of 2017) and the "Fast Forward" initiative announced in May by President Byford are producing results.

According to a statement from City Hall, “Mayor de Blasio renewed his demand for New York City investment to go toward New York City transit and for a long-term revenue source paid for by a tax on New York City's wealthiest residents.”

They agreed to establish a working group to improve collaboration and have quarterly meetings.

Teams from the de Blasio administration and transit have been meeting and working together on a number of projects, including bus improvements, accessibility and the response to the upcoming L-train tunnel closure.

The MTA is a state agency (technically, it's an authority and a public benefit corporation).

A 17-member board governs the MTA. Members are nominated by the Governor, with four recommended by New York City's mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam. There are six rotating non-voting seats from representatives of organized labor and the rider advocacy groups.