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Upstate transit systems get boost in Hochul’s budget plan

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Significant investments in road and traffic infrastructure would continue under New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal released Tuesday.

Her spending plan allocates $7.9 billion in state operating aid to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Upstate transit systems would receive $323 million and downstate non-MTA transit systems would get $551 million — both a 5.4% increase from last year.

Also included is another $7.6 billion for the third year of the state’s five-year $32.9 billion Department of Transportation Capital Plan. That plan leverages federal funding commitments made in the federal infrastructure law passed by Congress in 2021 to support phases of major infrastructure projects, including the Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement and the Interstate 81 project in Syracuse.

The plan also supports new large-scale projects, including:

  • Modernizing the Livingston Avenue Bridge in Albany
  • Reconnecting neighborhoods across the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo
  • Converting state Route 17 to I-86 in Orange and Sullivan counties
  • Assessing ways to improve road capacity at the Oakdale Merge in Suffolk County

Hochul’s proposal also includes $100 million for the third year of the Pave Our Potholes (POP) program, $150 million for the PAVE NY program and $200 million for the “Bridge NY” program.

The governor will also introduce a comprehensive safety package to address the remaining legislative recommendations from the Stretch Limousine Passenger Safety Task Force, which was created following the limousine crash in Schoharie in 2018 that killed 20 people.

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