Staten Island is the only borough of New York City, as well as the only county within the MTA Service Territory, without representation.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) issued a letter to Gov. Cuomo imploring him to reject at least one of Mayor de Blasio’s recommendations to the MTA Board until at least one board member represents the borough of Staten Island. Malliotakis cited the fact that the two recommendations are from territories already represented on the MTA Board, while Staten Island remains unrepresented. Currently, Staten Island is the only borough of New York City, as well as the only county within the MTA Service Territory, without representation.The current MTA bridge toll is the highest in the nation, and Staten Island could be subject to a system of double tolling with the recently-proposed congestion pricing, which Malliotakis has adamantly opposed.

“This is an opportunity for you to give Staten Islanders the voice they so desperately need and deserve,” said Malliotakis. “Staten Island is the most transportation-starved borough in New York City, the only borough that lacks a subway system, and is the only borough that requires a bridge toll to connect to the rest of the city. I implore you to reject one of Mayor de Blasio’s recommendations, and push to have an MTA board member from Staten Island. This would allow the MTA Board to hear how important decisions, such as toll hikes and congestion pricing, would impact our constituents in Staten Island. There are important projects that the community has been fighting for, such as the Staten Island North Shore Bus Rapid Transit and the West Shore Rail, and it is critical that we have a voice on the board to advocate for their fruition. This is the first time in recent memory that Staten Island has not had a representative on the board. It’s unacceptable, and the residents of this borough are counting on you to allow them the representation they deserve.”

The law says the Mayor of the City of New York gets to recommend to the governor four of the voting members on the MTA Board.

Malliotakis recently introduced legislation, A.7469, that would add a board member and require an appointee from every borough within the city of New York so every county within the MTA Service Territory has representation.

The MTA is governed by a 21-member board. Members are nominated by the governor, with four recommended by New York City’s mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Putnam counties (the members representing the latter four cast one collective vote). The board also has six rotating non-voting seats held by representatives of organized labor and the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee (PCAC), which serves as a voice for users of MTA transit and commuter facilities.