Gotham Gazette

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Contentious Bronx Charter Commission Hearing Centers on Voting, Police Accountability Reforms

charter 2019 bronx hearing

(photo: @Charter2019NYC)

The 2019 Charter Revision Commission held a lively public hearing on its preliminary staff report in the Bronx on Tuesday evening. Public testimony largely focused on boosting support for ranked choice voting, which the commission is pursuing as a likely inclusion of what it will propose to voters on the November ballot, and advocating for an elected rather than appointed Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which the commission does not appear to be considering.

After Bronxites offered their opinions, the commission publicly deliberated on the testimonies, where they occasionally butted heads, but largely reinforced their vision of a revamped city charter better guided by community empowerment.

As the commission’s process moves to its final stages, the recently-released staff report outlined a variety of areas for the commissioners to give further consideration and hear public input -- with one hearing in each borough -- as they move toward announcing which changes to city governance they will recommend to voters.

The preliminary staff report moved forward several possible provisions aimed at increasing community participation in governmental processes. The Bronx hearing was the third of the commission’s latest wave of borough meetings, after those in Queens and Brooklyn and just ahead of Manhattan and Staten Island. After taking in the latest round of public feedback and holding private conversations, the commission will his summer decide what to put before voters in November.

In between that decision and the yes or no vote, the commission will attempt significant voter education on its proposals, in part to drum up participation in what is expected to be a very low turnout Election Day. The commissioners will also have to decide whether to present their recommended charter changes to voters as one package or to separate it into multiple parts.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. did not submit testimony, despite saying in late March on the Max & Murphy podcast that his office was the in process of brainstorming, but “when the time comes, we’ll come out with our proposals and of course we’ll make them public.”

Diaz Jr. is not alone among the borough presidents; only Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo have submitted testimony throughout the charter commission process. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams have kept their distance. Each borough president has one appointee to the 15-member commission.

While only a few dozen Bronxites attended the meeting at Lehman College, those who did gave passionate testimony, predominantly about election reform, police accountability, and land use. Some current and hopeful politicians also appeared and gave sweeping testimony about the commission’s preliminary report as a whole.

Supporters of an elected CCRB comprised a significant portion of the audience and public speakers. Advocates argued that a democratization of the CCRB, whose members are currently appointed by various government officials, is the best path to holding police officers accountable for wrongdoing. New Yorkers will “elect people like them,” Chivona Newsome from Black Lives Matter Greater New York argued, “community members, mothers, fathers, people living above and below the poverty line.”

The Bronx, she said, is well-equipped to speak to problems with the CCRB. “My beloved borough ranks number two for the most complaints filed in the city,” despite having the fourth-highest population, she said. “The only way bad cops will ever be held accountable is with an elected civilian review board,” she said.

Currently, the City Council, police commissioner, and the mayor each appoint CCRB members. The charter commission’s report put forth the notion of strengthening City Council’s role in designating CCRB members and potentially allowing the public advocate to make appointments. The commission staff further advocated exploring bolstering the legal authority given to the CCRB.

Several Bronxites, however, argued that the commission’s report was inadequate. Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, railed against their suggestions and called the report an insult to African-Americans. It was, he said, “a waste of paper and a waste of oxygen for those of you who debated it.”

Hawk Newsome asked commissioner Jimmy Vacca, former City Council Member from the Bronx and appointed to the commission by Diaz Jr., to look up from his phone twice during his testimony. He concluded his impassioned appearance by telling the commission that the NYPD “has all the protection in the world, and we have none. And the reason we have none is because of people like you.” While others on his panel spoke, Newsome held up a photo of Eric Garner, who was killed by an NYPD officer in 2014.

Betty Maloney, a feminist activist, also advocated for an elected CCRB based on the NYPD’s “abysmal failure” in properly addressing sex crimes. She told the commission that after she reported her rapist, a police officer asked her if she was “a prostitute.”

“If you fail to act for justice, whether you’re a woman or a man,” she told the commission, “you will be known by the ever-expanding #MeToo movement for your failure to act.”

Frank Morano, a radio host and political activist, focused on a different theme, but also chided the commission as “beneficiaries of the system,” though he complimented the group for a report that incorporated “hundreds of ideas.”

Morano delivered an animated testimony against the city’s current campaign finance laws. “We still have legalized bribery, we have a system that’s more costly than ever,” he said of the 8-to-1 public matching system the city uses for smaller contributions. “Who are we helping?” Morano espoused the use of democracy vouchers, a campaign finance system used in Seattle that largely eliminates private donations to candidates and engages more people in the process by providing them with money that must be donated to the candidates of their choice. It’s a program favored by charter commissioner Sal Albanese, a former City Council member appointed to the commission by Adams.

Morano closed his testimony by warning against blindly following the commission report. “Please, don’t go along with what the staff recommends,” he said. He implored the commission to put democracy vouchers “on the ballot and let the people vote.”

Several Bronxites attended the meeting to voice their opinion about ranked-choice voting, a reform that would allow voters to rank candidates and avoid costly runoffs. The commission staff suggested studying it further, including around which offices would benefit from the system. Some form of ranked-choice voting appears destined for the final recommendations.

Many testifiers spoke in favor of ranked-choice voting citywide and argued that it would reduce voter disillusionment.

“People should not be afraid to step outside the box and express their true preference on the ballot,” said Debra Rosario from the Bronx Green Party. “It’s hard to get excited about an election when the hope is the lesser of two evils,” said Paul Gillman, Bronx resident from the Green Party New York and 2014 state senate candidate in Queens.

“I don’t think this is an ideological issue,” echoed John Reynolds, a resident of the Bronx for 68 years, “I think it’s an issue of faulty democracy.”

Contrarily, Roxanne Delgado, an activist from the Bronx who frequently testifies at hearings on public policy, spoke out against ranked-choice. She argued that the system disadvantages low-income communities where less effort may be put into voter education. She also worried that a complicated ballot would delay the city’s process of counting votes. “I see no benefits to ranked-choice voting,” she said.

City Council Member Andrew Cohen, who represents the northern Bronx, gave broad testimony supporting provisions like easing the ULURP process, increased police accountability, and strengthening the Conflicts of Interest Board. But much of his testimony focused on his concerns about ranked-choice voting, leading to a lengthy discussion between Cohen and several commissioners.

While he sees the merits of ranked-choice on a citywide level, he said, he fears it “could lead to mischief in a way that might not achieve the goals we want to achieve.” Commissioner Carl Weisbrod, a former official at the city Planning Department and appointee of Mayor de Blasio, asked why Cohen felt ranked-choice wouldn’t lead to elections where the “winning candidate was more fully embraced by the district as a whole.” Cohen answered that he appreciated the idea in the abstract, but feared that if implemented, ranked-choice would empower “people who feel passionately to come up with bad ideas to scheme and get people to vote the way they want.” Both Commission Chair Gail Benjamin and Commissioner Albanese disagreed with Cohen’s assessment.

The topic of land use also appeared to have struck a chord with Bronxites.

Maggie Clarke, founder of Inwood Preservation, argued that rezonings are “straining the very limited air and water resources we have,” and said that the city should curb its rapid development pace. She encouraged the commission to include a measure requiring the city government to fully consider alternative plans during the the land use review process (ULURP) and environmental impact study (CEQR) process.

Commissioner Vacca asked Clarke if a provision allowing for a city official to mandate a 30-day stall in the ULURP process if the community feels they haven’t been engaged would satisfy her critiques. She answered that the problem stretches beyond community input and is endangering the environment.

“This is the only opportunity that we’re going to have to fix the system in a way that allows environmental law not to be broken,” Clarke said.

Adam Weinstein, president of Fipps Houses, urged the commission to “encourage transparency” for the community. “Most folks appearing before community boards should be encouraged to show up long before the certification process,” he said of developers. “Only good things can happen.” He also voiced support for simplifying the complex documentation required of ULURP applicants.

Two GIS, or geographic information system, experts from Lehman College also gave testimony urging the commission to support an amendment to Chapter 48, which deals with information technology and telecommunications. They said that GIS technology helps the city with everything from 311 to superstorm preparation.

Michael Beltzer, a two-time candidate for City Council in the Bronx, gave broad testimony touching on many issues in the commission’s preliminary report. He voiced support for democracy vouchers, an elected CCRB, ranked-choice voting (but suggested limiting the ballot to six candidates), and increased budgetary power for the public advocate and potentially borough president offices.

George Diaz, who’s challenging Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz in next year’s primary, called for more pronounced and earlier involvement of community boards in land use decisions, an “empowered” CCRB, and a reformed and “less punitive” campaign finance system. He also voiced his support for ranked-choice voting, which could potentially benefit him in his 2020 race against the incumbent who has never faced a primary challenger.

“Do me a favor,” commissioner Albanese said, “look into democracy vouchers.”

After hearing 16 people testify, the commission moved into a public discussion, where they reinforced their overarching goals of empowering communities in local governing decisions and expanding democracy.

Commissioner James Caras, a land use expert appointed by Manhattan Borough President Brewer, kicked off the discussion by asking his colleagues how they envisioned consolidating land use and planning documents. Commission Chair Benjamin suggested, “one would rely on the work of the other,” ridding the process of redundancies. Commissioner Weisbrod added that documents should maintain a level of flexibility to “respond to conditions as they arrive.”

Commissioner Paula Gavin, former Chief Service Officer in the Mayor’s Office, said planning documents should be set up in a way to manifest a “unified vision of the city” set by the mayor in conjunction with City Council, the public advocate, and the comptroller.

Commissioner Vacca reinforced his call for stronger borough-based power during ULURP, citing the shuttering of Rikers Island jails and installation of four new jails in each borough but Staten Island as an example of how the process shortchanges the Bronx. The four jails are part of one ULURP bid, Vacca explained, calling them a “package deal.” Commission Chair Benjamin pushed back, saying that ideas within ULURP can be separated and accordingly struck down or approved, but Vacca maintained the need for a stronger borough-specific voice throughout the process.

Benjamin and Vacca butted heads again when discussing the powers of the commission itself: “Jimmy, we’re not a budgeting agency,” Benjamin said in response to Vacca’s suggestion of creating ULURP surveys.

Vacca disagreed, arguing that many of the proposals within the commission’s preliminary report are inherently budgetary––ranked-choice voting, for insistence, will require the city to spend money on voter education.

Some commissioners addressed the occasionally combative tone of the public hearing. “I don’t agree with how everything was phrased today because I don’t think we’re responsible for everything as a commission,” noted Rev. Commissioner Clinton Miller, a pastor from Brooklyn.

Commissioner Sateesh Nori, a Queens-based attorney, quipped on Hawk Newsome’s decision to wear his sunglasses as a pointed sign of disrespect for the commission, in return for what Newsome called their lack of respect for the people of New York City. “I’ve taken off my sunglasses as a sign of respect to you all,” Nori said.

Nori also reminded the public that the commission does not have legislative power, but that voting reform would help in creating legislative changes.

“Our overall goal,” Commissioner Gavin said, “is to strengthen our city and strengthen our democracy.”

City Council Pushes Its Priorities at First Hearing on De Blasio's Executive Budget

spk co jo exec bud

Council Member Dromm and Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

The New York City Council and budget officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration engaged in a familiar push-and-pull on Monday, at the first hearing on the $92.5 billion executive budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Council, disappointed that many of its priorities were not included in the latest spending plan presented by the mayor, pushed for more funding and pointed to hundreds of millions in revenue available to the city, but officials from the Office of Management and Budget urged restraint as they emphasized the dangers of a slowing economy and insisted the Council’s revenue estimate was far rosier than their own.

De Blasio presented his executive budget last month with $300 million more in proposed spending than his preliminary plan released in February. The $92.5 billion proposal would mark yet another record high in city spending, up nearly $3.4 billion from the current fiscal year and about $20 billion from the budget that de Blasio inherited from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The budget included, for the first time under de Blasio, a PEG (Program to Eliminate the Gap) that identified $629 million in savings in agency spending.

But the executive budget excludes funding for most of the items that the City Council had listed in its response, issued last month, to de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan, and Council members made their frustration clear at Monday’s hearing.

The Council found the executive budget “incredibly insulting,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in his opening remarks. The Council had called for pay parity and wage equity for several categories of city-funded workers (including nonprofit human service providers, assistant district attorneys, indigent defense attorneys, and daycare workers), investments in a variety of social service and local programs, $250 million more in reserves, more transparency across the budget, and 100 percent “Fair Student Funding” to aid local schools.

Johnson noted that though most of the Council’s priorities were ignored, “The Administration saw fit to implement our ideas from the response for how to save money, and then took those savings to fund even more of the mayor’s priorities.”

Even requests that would have cost nothing -- for instance, more transparency for multi-agency programs such as ThriveNYC, and spending on the new ferry system -- were rejected, Johnson said.

He did, however, point to a bright spot in the negotiations with the administration. The Council had called for continuing $155 million in “one-shot” funding that is in the current fiscal year budget for various purposes -- adult literacy programs, summer youth employment, post-arrest diversion programs, social workers for homeless students, and more. After the Council’s push, the city added $77 million to restore some of those programs, but Johnson indicated that negotiations would be tough regardless.

“Typically, we try to get this budget adopted by the first week of June. I doubt that’s possible and I’m willing to wait until just before July 1,” Johnson said, referring to the start of the next fiscal year and the deadline for approving the budget. “This needs to be done the right way,” he added. Over the next few weeks, the Council will continue to examine the budget at agency-specific hearings where administration officials will testify, while public rallies are held and op-eds are written advocating for certain expenditures and private negotiations continue among stakeholders.

A central dispute of the hearing was over the amount of revenue available to the city from personal income tax collections, which came in higher than earlier projections. Through April, the city received $474 million more than initially estimated, which the Council repeatedly said should be put to use to fund their demands. But OMB Director Melanie Hartzog repeatedly pointed out that other tax revenue came in lower, and that actual revenues only increased by about $200 million.

“We continue to face uncertainty related to economic conditions at home and abroad,” Hartzog said in her opening remarks, pointing to a weak housing market and slowing consumption. She emphasized that much of the new spending in the budget was required because of $300 million in unfunded mandates and cost shifts from the state, and about $150 million in additional needs that were not factored in to the preliminary budget.

Council Member Daniel Dromm, chair of the finance committee, didn’t hold back in criticizing the executive budget’s approach towards the Council, pointing out that the Council had urged the administration for years to rein in costs, increase reserves, and find agency efficiencies. He noted that the PEG made cuts in areas where the Council wanted more spending, including cultural institutions, youth services, and senior centers.

“The PEG was couched in the context of a potentially worsening economic position for the city and the need for us all to tighten our belts in anticipation,” he added. “So what is truly baffling is that in light of this sentiment, the administration has chosen not to add even a single dollar towards our reserves.” That increases the likelihood, he said, that the administration will have to slash services when an economic downturn hits in earnest.

“It was a challenging budget,” Hartzog said, a position she had to repeatedly rely on as Council members pressed her on a slew of specific priorities, whether funding for social workers and guidance counsellors in schools, or support services for youth in the foster care system. She did however promise to work with the Council in finding more savings and to address their individual issues.

And the issues were many. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, chair of the cultural affairs committee, said $6 million in proposed cuts to cultural institutions were “disrespectful to this body.” Hartzog said they were “relatively modest,” noting that the overall budget for those institutions is about $139 million and that the administration wanted to avoid cuts in library service. 

Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the education committee, lambasted the lack of funding for pay parity for universal pre-kindergarten teachers, Title IX coordinators, for busing for foster care students, for new school counsellors, to baseline Teacher’s Choice funding, and more education-related programs. “How can you say this is a schools-not-jails budget?,” he wondered, with apparent reference to the fact that the mayor’s updated capital budget plan, $117 billion over 10 years, includes billions in funding for jail construction as the city moves off of Rikers Island.

Council Member Helen Rosenthal noted that nonprofit service providers need at least $250 million more from the city or they risk fiscal insolvency. Hartzog, in response, noted that the de Blasio administration previously gave nonprofit providers cost-of-living-raises for the first time in years and that the administration is negotiating issues with the nonprofit sector. 

Council Member Barry Grodenchik, chair of the parks committee, said the parks and recreation budget “continues to go sideways,” and called for modest and targeted investments in parks infrastructure.

Council Members Carlina Rivera and Carlos Menchaca, co-chairs of the Council’s census task force, called for more funding for 2020 Census outreach, insisting that the $26 million over two years that the administration is funding is inadequate compared to the Council’s $40 million request. Hartzog said the amount was sufficient -- $8 million will go to community-based organizations, $10 million to a media outreach campaign and the rest to staffing needs -- particularly in tandem with $20 million in overall state funding, but said the administration was open to adding more funding if needed down the line.

Hartzog told Council Member Mark Levine that funding for so-called safe injection sites wasn’t included because the city was waiting for approval from the state health department.

The OMB director did agree to providing a measure of more transparency in the budget, and said her office had identified 34 new units of appropriation at the Council’s urging.

Hartzog similarly said the administration had made new “Capital Detail Data Reports” available online, in response to a request from Council Member Vanessa Gibson, who chairs the subcommittee on the capital budget. Gibson and others have critiqued the city’s ten-year capital planning process, insisting that it frontloads investments in early years and underfunds them in the second half of the plan. The ten-year capital plan reached $116.9 billion in the executive budget, of which 78% is planned for the first five years, Gibson noted.

But Hartzog said the city was working to distribute capital spending more evenly, with $3.9 billion redistributed from fiscal years 2019-2021 into later years. The administration has also proposed rescinding $2.3 billion pledged in previous capital budgets, she said.

by Samar Khurshid, senior reporter, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

Payphone-Replacing LinkNYC Kiosks Not Generating Projected Revenue


Mayor de Blasio makes the first LinkNYC call (photo: Appleton/Mayor's Office)

During a February 2016 press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the first phone call on New York City’s first LinkNYC kiosk, stationed at the corner of 16th Street and 3rd Avenue. “It will be the biggest and fastest network in the world, and completely free of charge. And one thing I know about my fellow New Yorkers, they like things that are free of charge," said de Blasio.

Not only that, but New Yorkers were promised money for the city’s general fund. That money would come in the form of revenue based on the agreement with proprietors who would refurbish the city’s obsolete payphones and sell advertising. While the city is indeed set to see the promised money, the financials of the LinkNYC equation have been choppier than the free phone calls or street-side wifi.

The kiosks, which many residents and visitors of the city recognize as the nearly 10-feet-tall rectangular obelisks displaying 55-inch screens of digital advertising that dot the sidewalks, are seen by some as a modern twist on the streetscape to, in part, bridge the digital divide by offering free wireless internet.

There are now roughly 1,800 LinkNYC kiosks installed across the city, according to Samir Saini, the city’s commissioner for the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), who discussed Link at a March City Council budget hearing and mentioned a guaranteed $27.5 million in revenue for 2019.

The kiosks do offer fast and free wifi, as well as the ability to make free domestic phone calls, charge USB devices, and make 911 calls, with special red buttons to summon emergency services. (Tablet internet browsing was also an original feature of the kiosks. After it was discovered people were watching pornography on them, however, that feature was quickly disabled.)

While some of the civic technology promises of Link have been realized, what is less clear is the revenue side of things. It’s all part of the deal inked between New York City government and CityBridge, a so-called consortium of Intersection, Qualcomm, and CIVIQ Smartscapes. (Intersection was launched by Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google.)

According to the franchise agreement, signed in 2014, a total of 7,500 LinkNYC kiosks were to be installed across the five boroughs by 2022. In terms of the financials, a November 2014 press release from de Blasio’s office promised $500 million in guaranteed revenue in the first 12 years (2014-2026) of the program. Not mentioned by that press release, the franchise agreement stipulated $750 million in guaranteed revenue by 2029.

But in the first years of the program, revenue generated by the Link kiosk advertising, as outlined in DoITT budget documents and a department spokesperson, show the much-heralded program is not meeting its targets. From 2015 to present, LinkNYC has fallen short of its revenue projections by more than $21 million, and is projected to miss by an additional $13 million for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. It adds up to $34 million under what is guaranteed to the city from CityBridge during that five-year period, calling into question the efficacy of Link advertising.

The basic financing in the deal is that CityBridge gets access to 7,500 payphone sites and must pay for their refurbishment into the Link kiosks and provide certain public services. In exchange, CityBridge gets to keep any advertising revenue beyond what the city is guaranteed in the contract. That revenue would come from contracting with a third party to build out the Links, as well as allowing Intersection to run advertising campaigns on the kiosks’ displays.

The revenue guarantee means CityBridge must pay a specified amount to New York City every year, even if Link advertising campaigns don’t generate that minimum number.

As it sells Link advertising, Intersection is working with BerlinRosen, a local public relations firm (which also ran major aspects of de Blasio’s two successful mayoral races) that has trumpeted the Link expansion.

The guaranteed city revenue can be from advertising revenue and non-advertising revenue, including “the fair market value of any non-monetary consideration (in kind) in the form of materials, services or other benefits, tangible or intangible, or in the nature of barter the Franchisee may receive,” per the franchise agreement. That same agreement stipulates the minimum annual revenue CityBridge has promised the city each year through 2029:

bdb link lv

Actual revenue brought in by the Link kiosks from 2015 through 2018 shows that the kiosks initially failed to sell enough advertising to hit the CityBridge guarantees to the city, meaning the consortium had to make up the difference (there were no Links up and running in 2015). CityBridge has started to hit those targets, if only barely.

The chart below shows those past figures as well as the revenue that DoITT is projecting for the LinkNYC kiosks for 2019 and 2020, next to the minimum guaranteed city revenue each year. According to those city projections, the LinkNYC kiosks will not hit the minimum guarantees that CityBridge must nonetheless pay the city.

Revenue has fallen short over the first four years and is predicted to continue to fall short of the minimum guaranteed city revenue for every year of LinkNYC’s first six years, save 2017, when the actual revenue of $26 million just passed the promised $25 million that had to be paid to the city.

For 2019, Link revenue is expected to fall short of the minimum guaranteed to the city by 23 percent. And 2020 is projected to fall short by a little over 7 percent. The total shortfall in advertising revenue for both years, if the projected revenues are correct, just for CityBridge to meet what it owes the city, would be another $13 million. It doesn’t hurt New York City financially, as CityBridge is obligated to pay the minimum annual guaranteed revenue, but it raises questions about the long-term viability of Link advertising revenue that could boost the city.

Potentially cutting into LinkNYC’s advertising revenue are LinkLocal campaigns, which are, according to a Link spokesperson, “free advertisements for small businesses to promote their stores and nonprofits to promote free local events. Additionally, LinkNYC has partnered with more than 40 nonprofits to help raise awareness for their campaigns.” The spokesperson declined to share any examples or case studies of previous LinkNYC advertising campaigns.

The spokesperson added that over 40 nonprofits partnered with LinkLocal for advertising, with nearly 600 total free campaigns being run through the program.

Intersection first declined to share with Gotham Gazette its advertising rate card, which is typically used to offer potential clients exemplars and costs, and then denied the existence of the rate card upon further questions. Intersection also declined to disclose how many paid campaigns have been run through the kiosks, claiming the number of paid campaigns is not part of their internal data tracking.

Other issues have plagued LinkNYC. In late April, the NYPD arrested a local man for smashing 42 LinkNYC displays. His acts of vandalism were captured by the kiosks’ on-board surveillance cameras, which most New Yorkers were likely unaware of prior to the smashing spree and related news coverage. This led to alarm bells over just how much the Links are watching people, and how much of their data is being collected in the name of providing free wifi.

LinkNYC has responded to these issues, responding to Twitter users that all video footage is deleted after seven days, and that it only shares the footage in response to “valid subpoenas.” As for data, the LinkNYC privacy policy states it collects quite a bit of it, including your IP address and URL requests through the wifi network.

In 2016, the year the program launched, local reports detailed how some people set up living-room-style arrangements around a single Link kiosk, bringing lawn furniture or milk crates to camp out within close range of the units. Other concerns have been raised over the kiosks’ free domestic phone calls being used to arrange drug deals and other illicit and illegal activities.

Despite some issues and concerns, usage of the Links has steadily increased since they hit the streets in 2016. According to the city’s Open Data Portal, over 10,000 terabytes of data (equitable to over 2 trillion songs) has been used by New Yorkers in over 1.5 billion total Link sessions. Perhaps one day Link advertising will pay for all that data usage.

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