Add the name of Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, to the local chorus of local state legislators calling for restoration of $10 million in transit operating assistance from New York State to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Grisanti joins Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Dennis H. Garbryszak, D-Cheektowaga, in writing to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to ask for the $10 million. The first member of the area delegation to petition the governor was Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston.
The effort is now gaining traction after Albany dispatched $250 million to the downstate Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace funds stemming from expired local taxes.
"If downstate can get $250 million for their transit authority, then upstate should get $10 million, Grisanti said. "My constituents need access to public transportation to get to work, if they can't get to work then they will lose their job and go on some sort of public assistance. That is unacceptable on my watch."
Grisanti also expressed concern over the layoff of 20 members of the Transit Authority
Police Deparatment as a result of the reduced state aid.
"We need the NFTA police officers to remain intact to protect our bus, rails and airports from any type of attacks or threats," he said. "We need to keep our community safe and if we cut police officers it will only burden other police agencies throughout the region."
--Robert J. McCarthy