Gov. Andrew Cuomo said keeping New York City's mass transit running is good for the entire state.
Addressing the MTA's deteriorating infrastructure is one of the most expensive parts of the governor's executive budget proposal. Upstate legislators do not appear to be opposed to giving the system more than $7 billion.
"I'm inclined to support a full transit package that recognizes the needs of the MTA, the New York City subway, but also recognizes the needs of Upstate transit," Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, said.
Legislators pointed out, however, Buffalo has its own Metro Rail System that needs updating and bus services across all the major regions have struggled to maintain routes both for their city and rural ridership.
"I actually am in New York City a lot so I use MTA. I use the subway but mostly Upstaters and New Yorkers do not so I think if we're going to be investing in MTA, we should be investing in every transit system throughout the state," Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said.
Cuomo's budget earmarks $568 million for non- MTA transit and another $4.4 billion for Upstate roads and bridges. Senate Transportation Chair Tim Kennedy said he's looking at the details but he wants to make sure everybody gets their fair share.
"When you’re talking about people all across the state of New York, millions of people that depend on public transportation, it’s imperative that New York State invest appropriately," Kennedy said.