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  • What's The [Data] Point? $418 million, with Dana Rubinstein

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 31 -- $418 million, with Dana Rubinstein [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    wtdp dana rubinstein lg...

  • The Transit Crisis Without A Rescue Plan

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    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Even as the subways reach the breaking point, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face an additional commuting crisis: the lack of fast, reliable transit service in huge swaths of the boroughs outside Manhattan. In neighborhoods from Flatlands to Queens Village to Castle Hill, getting to work is a grinding chore, even when the trains are on time. That’s because the transit system has failed to keep pace with the demand for better service outside the city’s core.

    Unlike the subway meltdown, this

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  • Congestion Pricing Train Already Running Late in Albany

    andrew cuomo mta columbus circle trs

    photo via the Governor's office


    There is plenty of debate ongoing about the pros and cons of congestion pricing - but little discussion yet about the purpose of creating such a large flow of money -- $1-$1.5 billion a year -- that logically must be a way to fund the next MTA capital plan. That plan is due out in the fall of 2019 for a five-year cycle from 2020 through 2024.

    The MTA had estimated that both the existing plan (2015-19) and the prior plan (2010-14) would cost about $30 billion each. For both plans,

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  • In Albany, De Blasio Budget Testimony Centers on MTA, NYCHA

    de Blasio Albany budget testimony

    Mayor de Blasio testifying in Albany (Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Testifying in Albany Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $168 billion executive budget and outlined the city’s funding priorities for the next fiscal year.

    De Blasio was the first to testify at a joint legislative budget hearing on local governments, making his annual journey to the Capitol, where he also met privately with Cuomo for an hour, and was scheduled to meet with three of five legislative conference leaders:

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  • MTA Funding Fight May Dominate This Year’s City-State Budget Struggle

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    Gov. Cuomo in the subway (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Three key points of contention between the city and the state have emerged over transit funding, highlighted during Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Chair Joe Lhota’s testimony at the joint legislative hearing on transportation Thursday in Albany.

    The hearing, which included discussion of the MTA plan to restore New York City’s ailing subway system, occurred amid an ongoing feud between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo over the funding of crucial

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  • Flanagan Provides Few Answers to Big Questions

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    John Flanagan at Crain's breakfast (Ben Max/Gotham Gazette)


    State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan spoke publicly for nearly an hour Thursday morning in Manhattan, but said little on a variety of pressing topics. The Long Island Republican and key player in negotiations of the state budget and a variety of other legislative matters of great significance to New York City provided some indication of where he stands, but repeatedly gave evasive and unclear statements on issues related to housing, construction, economic development, and congestion

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  • With MTA Facing Massive Shortfall, A Lot Riding on New Congestion Pricing Push

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    Gov. Cuomo in the subway (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo’s “Fix NYC” commission produced a framework for a congestion pricing plan, released just after the governor’s Executive Budget for the 2018-19 Fiscal Year, which begins April 1. The congestion pricing framework outlines a three-year phase-in that would provide revenue of $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year starting in 2020, most of which would be intended for the MTA Capital Plan.

    That is also the year the MTA must begin its next five-year capital plan for continued

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  • De Blasio Lays Out Initial 2018 Albany Priorities

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    Mayor de Blasio in the snow (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The state Legislature is back in session, beginning the months-long process of deliberating on its $160-billion budget and legislation for the coming fiscal year that starts April 1. For New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a second-term Democrat, it poses the annual opportunity to lobby for the city’s priorities, including small and large policy changes and additional funding for city agencies.

    De Blasio had mixed successes in the state capitol, where he has few

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  • New York City Takeaways from Governor Cuomo's 2018 State of the State

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his full policy agenda for the 2018 legislative session on Wednesday, returning to his traditional State of the State format: a single address at the Empire State Convention Center, chock full of slideshow-aided proposals and lofty rhetoric, with legislative leaders of all five conferences and other statewide elected officials accompanying him on stage.

    During the 92-minute speech, Cuomo gave

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  • Ahead of 2018 Session, Cuomo Mum on Pursuing MTA Board Overhaul

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo via the Governor's Office)


    In June, as New Yorkers became increasingly frustrated with subway performance and braced themselves for the expected “summer of hell,” Governor Andrew Cuomo was the focus of intense criticism, responding with a series of measures he said were needed in order to fix the ailing Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

    Among them, Cuomo introduced last-minute legislation that would allow the governor to appoint a majority of MTA board members, a gesture some saw as an attempt to bolster his

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  • The MTA’s Long-Term Financial Problem Is Severe and May Soon Be Worse

    MTA restored montague tube

    (photo via MTA)


    Summer 2017 saw a political breakthrough for mass transit riders when Governor Cuomo declared a “Transit Emergency“ after the Harlem subway derailment, effectively acknowledging the State’s responsibility for addressing the deteriorating and delay-plagued subway, bus, and commuter rail system.

    Within a month, the MTA’s new Chair, Joe Llota, proposed an $836 million “Subway Action Plan” to address the emergency, meaning major upgrades to the MTA’s maintenance operations and other investments to attack the constant delays and bring some meaningful

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  • At Oversight Hearing, Council Members Seek Answers on MTA Funding and Operations

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    Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (photo William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    At a contentious hours-long hearing held on Tuesday by the the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, Council members grilled representatives of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on the problems facing the city’s transit infrastructure and the challenges of finding both short- and long-term funding streams to adequately maintain and upgrade the city’s subway system.

    The hearing comes amid an increasingly testy fight between the city and state over the

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  • What About the Buses?

    governorandrewcuomo photo by marc a. hermann mta new york city transit

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    Newly-minted MTA chief Joe Lhota held a press conference last week to announce a rescue plan for the city’s ailing subway system. The agenda includes signal fixes, maintenance work, new emergency response teams, and even rider communication shifts. Lhota’s blueprint comes with $800-plus million price tag, he said, which set off another round of feuding between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo about how much the city and

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  • The Mayor’s Best Argument on Transit System Funding

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo’s declaration of a state emergency after the Harlem subway derailment in June offered hope to suffering transit riders because it was an acknowledgement there was a crisis and the Governor was taking responsibility for addressing it.

    An emergency declaration in New York law requires an affected agency to develop plans to deal with whatever disaster the Governor has declared. After a review, new MTA Chair Joseph Lhota  proposed to spend an additional $450 million in maintenance

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 24

    640px New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    It's a relatively quiet week in New York politics. The City Council has only a few hearings scheduled this week after holding a full meeting last week where they passed a number of bills, including the 'Right to Counsel' bill to provide free legal services to low-income tenants in housing court.  

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back at City Hall after spending a week in Queens

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  • Calls For Long-Term Solutions As City Transit Crisis Worsens

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    Governor Cuomo with MTA Chair Joe Lhota (photo: Governor's Office/Flickr)


    Two separate subway track fires on Monday, in the morning and evening, that led to stoppages on multiple lines and delays across the system were just the latest incidents that put the spotlight on problems with New York City’s subways. The last few weeks have seen chronic delays, a recent A-train 

    What's The [DATA] Point? 30 Days

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 5 -- 30 Days, with Jamison Dague, director of infrastructure studies for Citizens. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the fifth episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by Jamison Dague of CBC, who discussed issues facing the city's subway system, recent announcements made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that relate to the MTA, CBC analysis of transit system problems, and what to watch for as the MTA enters its summer

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $32.5 Billion

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 4 -- $32.5 billion, with Janno Lieber, the MTA's new Chief Development Officer. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the fourth episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by Janno Lieber, the MTA's new Chief Development Officer who is one month into his work at the MTA, where he is overseeing major capital projects. Lieber discussed his mission, his initial work and the work that lies ahead, the general issues facing the city's subway

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  • 7 Transit Commitments Advocates Want From Candidates This Year

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    Transit advocates rally near City Hall (photo: Sam Raskin/Gotham Gazette)


    Activists from eight transportation advocacy groups gathered near the City Hall R train subway station on Thursday calling on candidates running for elected office in the city to adopt a seven-point plan to improve New York’s crumbling transit infrastructure.

    “We’ve put together the steps that New York City can take to make transportation work in New York,” said John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance, who led the news conference. The coalition released a four-page document titled, “...

  • How The Mayoral Control ‘Special Session’ Works

    de Blasio desk Albany

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    To prevent the lapse of mayoral control over New York City schools, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called an “extraordinary session” of the state Legislature to convene on Wednesday at 1p.m. in Albany. Often referred to as a “special session,” details of how the day will unfold -- especially what legislation will pass -- are still unclear.

    Currently, the session has been called for just one day, with the only named purpose the extension of authority granted to the New York City Mayor, currently Bill

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  • New Jersey is About to Elect a New Governor. Why It Matters to New York

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    Governors Cuomo and Christie (photo: Governor Cuomo's Office)


    After competitive primaries, the New Jersey gubernatorial race is now between Republican Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy. As the candidates head toward November's Election Day, New Yorkers may want to pay attention to the race and how each major party candidate might affect New York if elected.

    Given the proximity and relationship between the two states, particularly in relation to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the fact that New York's workforce includes many

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  • The Governor Cannot Duck Reckoning for Mass Transit Decline

    Cuomo subways

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New York’s mass transit riders are experiencing a serious and rapid decline in service. The negatives are palpable and documentable; ever-worsening delays are aggravating and angering the millions of New Yorkers who need the subways, buses, and commuter rail systems to move them around.

    A State Comptroller’s audit found on-time weekday performance for the subway system had declined from 80% in 2013 to 74% in 2014; the MTA’s investor disclosure documents show OTP declined to 70% in 2015, to 67% in 2016; and the MTA website

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  • Albany on the Penultimate Day of Legislative Session

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    The Capitol (photo: Ben Max)


    The lobby was packed with lobbyists. The Dunkin Donuts was humming. Food trucks lined the sunny street and appeared to be doing better than average business. Reporters were hungry for any tidbit of news.

    Assembly members and Senators bounced in and out of their respective chambers, where dozens of bills were voted through with astonishing speed. Negotiations on major pieces of more contentious legislation were held behind closed doors by the four most powerful people in state government, all men.

    The state Capitol building on

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  • With Subways in Crisis, It’s Showtime for Mayoral Candidates

    Cuomo subway train

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Standing near a City Hall subway stop, Staten Island Assembly member and GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis railed against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of the city’s transit system and its state-controlled operator, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

    At a podium set up just outside a 4 and 5 train entrance -- the same station that the mayor and his family emerged from for his inauguration on January 1, 2014 -- Malliotakis said last Friday that de Blasio has been ineffective and pledged that if she is elected

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  • De Blasio’s 'Piecemeal' Transportation Agenda

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    Mayor de Blasio on the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Announcing the next steps of his citywide ferry service initiative at a recent press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is pleased with what his administration has done to improve transit options for New Yorkers, but admitted that he hasn’t put forth a coherent, comprehensive transportation agenda.

    Though transit experts have praised some of de Blasio’s moves to expand the city’s transportation network, many have also criticized

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