State legislative leaders and Gov. Kathy Hochul have been busy negotiating the budget, which includes a proposal to invest $90 million in improving bus service in the city.

(Spectrum News NY1)

The plan would set aside $45 million to expand the fare-free bus pilot program from five to 15 lines, while the other $45 million dollars would go toward increasing bus frequency and reliability.

The goal is to make public transportation meet the needs of New Yorkers, with congestion pricing set to take effect in June.

The proposal is receiving support from Congressional members Dan Goldman and Grace Meng, who have both urged Hochul to back it.

One of the sponsors of the package, State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, who represents the neighborhoods of Astoria and Ditmars-Steinway in Queens, sat down with Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Thursday to talk more about the vital importance of improving bus services in the city.

“Public transit should be a public good for every New Yorker, and we’re seeing too many New Yorkers are struggling to afford the fare,” Mamdani said. “If you were to provide bus transit as something that is their right, than you can actually allow them to get around New York City, and that is what the point of public transit should be.”