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  • govancuomo mta transit

    Gov. Cuomo at an MTA-related event (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    A bill to create a “transit lockbox” passed both houses of the state Legislature at the end of the session last month, setting up a showdown between the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has presided over hundreds of millions of dollars in diverted MTA funds and has been hesitant to lose flexibility to use money allocated to MTA operations and improvements for other purposes, such as debt service. Cuomo vetoed an identical bill in 2013.

    The legislation would

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  • Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    June 20, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: A New Era at the MTA? with Nicole Gelinas, senior fellow at the Manhattan Instituteand and columnist at the New York Post.

    Nicole Gelinas

    Are we in a new era at the MTA? With Joe Lhota one year on the job as chair and a new transit chief, Andy Byford, in place and out with a plan to modernize the signals, where

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  • marc molinaro launch

    Marc Molinaro (photo: Ben Max/Gotham Gazette)


    Ask Marc Molinaro about nearly anything, and the Republican nominee for governor will likely bring the conversation back to property taxes and affordability.

    “My focus, ultimately, will be to drive down costs on middle class New Yorkers,” he said in a Wednesday interview with Gotham Gazette. “That focus, again, has to be on property taxes because New York, unlike every other state in America, forces more of its state spending on property taxpayers. Property taxpayers -- small tax base; large, acute burden on

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  • m train mta

    Andy Byford (photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    New York City Transit’s new president, Andy Byford, recently presented a major plan to fix the subways, called “Fast Forward,” which involves a massive sustained investment in upgrading and modernizing the subway system, combined with a spending speed-up by closing more subway lines on nights and weekends to get the work done more rapidly. Other major priorities are also in the plan, like improved bus speeds, providing access for disabled people at more stations, strengthening construction management, and

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  • subway train repairs

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    The MTA received two significant infusions of new money in the state budget effective April 1. The first is the full $836 million, to be provided to the MTA by December 31, to fund phase one of the Subway Action Plan developed last July by Chair Joseph Lhota and MTA management. The second is through a new tax, starting January 1, on for-hire vehicle trips by taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and others for trips in Manhattan south of 96th street. The tax revenue will put an estimated $400 million a year into the MTA budget

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  • mta double decker

    (Credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    In the Big Apple's transit circles, Andy Byford has quickly become the hottest London import since the Beatles. New York City Transit's new president, brought in this winter from his job as the head of the Toronto Transit Commission, faces the unenviable task of fixing the city's ailing subway system and restoring faith in its vital transit network. Just three months into the job, Byford is moving at a breakneck pace, and on Monday, he unveiled an ambitious plan to speed up New York City's snail-like local

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  • mta select bus service route

    (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    This is part three of a three-part series

    Previously discussed: the promises and the reality, the difference between bus travel time and passenger travel time, who benefits and who is hurt by SBS, how the mayor, MTA and DOT mislead, the true costs of SBS (part one); the denigration of local bus service, problems with enforcement, other SBS problems, negative effects on traffic and local

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  • department of transportation

    (photo via DOT)


    This is part one of a three-part series

    Select Bus Service (SBS), New York City's version of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), has been embraced by the media as well as by many organizations. This is in addition to the city Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) -- SBS is a joint project of the two agencies with DOT being the lead agency. Supporters include: Bus Turnaround Coalition, Move NY, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, Pratt Center for Community Development,

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  • govcuomobreakfast

    (Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Following completion of the fiscal year 2019 state budget late last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced into a decision whereby the city will pay half the $836 million MTA Subway Action Plan. De Blasio had for months refused to match the state’s $418 million pledge, put forth immediately by Governor Andrew Cuomo upon MTA Chair Joe Lhota’s release of the plan.

    Now, the mayor says, the ball is even more clearly in Cuomo’s court to get the subways running reliably. But just a week after the budget

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  • Cuomo budget presentation

    Gov. Cuomo during his budget address (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    A state budget is due by the April 1 start to the new fiscal year, and lawmakers have pledged to have a spending plan -- which is likely to include several new policy items -- done before Friday, March 30, given the impending Passover and Easter holidays. As Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders negotiate a wide variety of policy and spending issues, many are important to New York City, not the least of which include determinations of state funding to the city for

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  • Corey Johnson Mayor de Blasio budget briefing

    Speaker Johnson talks with Mayor de Blasio (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council is set to begin hearings next week on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $88.67 billion preliminary budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, with a smaller but significant figure likely to become an issue of controversy in negotiations between the two sides of City Hall.  

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson

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  • whats the data point


    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...

  • transit crisis rescue

    (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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 36468561375 7f08a42b5b z

    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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  • John Flanagan State Senate

    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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  • Cuomo MTA subway escalator

    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 Albany agenda

    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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  • Cuomo State of the State podium

    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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  • Cuomo MTA control

    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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  • 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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  • 12756177594 f792aac7b9 z

    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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  • 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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  • de Blasio

    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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