HYDE PARK, N.Y. - Senator Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) announced today that her bill to create a half-fare rate program for veterans utilizing Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) services passed unanimously in the Senate.
“Our veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting us and ensuring our freedom and for that, they not only deserve our respect, but our gratitude,” said Serino. “While words will never be enough to express the full weight of our thanks, empowering our veterans to live full lives after their service is just one way that we can show them how much they are valued. Increasing access to transportation services by creating a half-fare program has the potential to significantly improve quality of life for veterans living, working and receiving health care in the MTA region.”
New York State is home to one of the highest veteran populations in the United States, with over 400,000 veterans concentrated in the MTA service area alone. However, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs notes that New York has lost over 30 percent of its veteran population between 2000-2015.
“New York’s high cost of living, especially in the MTA region, is driving people out of our state each and every day,” said Serino. “If we want to make New York a place where people, and our veterans especially, want to live instead of leave, we need to work actively to make the state and the region more affordable. This bill is a step in the right direction and I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to make it a priority."
The bill has been sent to the Assembly where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D—Bronx). It passed unanimously in the Senate last year, but the Assembly failed to pass it.