Cuomo: MTA panel needed to 'reinvent' regional transit

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown in this file photo. (Jan. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday challenged the MTA to "reinvent" the region's transportation network.

In a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast, Cuomo called on the agency to impanel a Transportation Reinvention Commission, consisting of transit experts from around the world. The board would hold public hearings to examine New York's transportation network and "develop a plan for the future."

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The commission would report back to Cuomo before the MTA board's consideration of its next five-year capital plan in September.

"We have been operating the same subway system for the last 100 years. The next 100 years, however, look radically different for New York," Cuomo said in the letter, in which he cited climate change, population growth, and demographic shifts as "new challenges to operating and maintaining our existing mass transit network."

In a statement, Prendergast agreed to create the commission "to recommend bold steps for the future."

"Governor Cuomo has made clear the next MTA capital plan must be a blueprint for making sure our subways, buses and trains meet the challenges of a new century," Prendergast said.

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