Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

MTA

MTA

  • mta aar residents

    (photo: MTA)


    There is a reason why Access-A-Ride is better known as “Stress-A-Ride” for the approximately 170,000 New Yorkers who depend on it. 

    The bill for Access-A-Ride will hit $616 million this year and the MTA is seeking additional funding from the City of New York. It’s mind-boggling to think this service can cost the cash-strapped agency so much for such low-quality service. That’s why before anyone kicks in additional funding, the MTA must fundamentally transform the way it runs its paratransit program and bring it into the 21st century.

    New

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  • mta priority bus

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


    In the year since I wrote “Designing Bus Routes to Attract Passengers and Reverse Declining Ridership,” the MTA announced the results for the Staten Island Express Bus Redesign, completed a Bronx study, and began studies of the bus networks in Queens and Brooklyn.  

    These studies make incorrect generalizations resulting in formulas attempting to correct problems. It is not

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 85 -- 275, with MTA Board Member Veronica Vanterpool [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    veronica vanterpool 150Veronica Vanterpool, an outgoing MTA Board member appointed by Mayor de Blasio, joined the podcast to discuss her work in transit advocacy and on the MTA Board, key MTA-related

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  • fulton wt

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Last month, two videos of incidents in Brooklyn emerged on social media that led to a public furor over policing in the city’s subway system. In one, several police officers aimed their guns at an unarmed young black man (and many fellow passengers nearby) and then aggressively arrested him despite him having shown no indication of resistance. In the second, an officer could be seen punching black teenagers in the face as other officers attempted to bring a stop to a brawl in a subway station.

    Those incidents were widely seen as a

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  • cops subways nypdnews

    (photo: NYPD)


    The MTA’s crackdown on fare evasion and homelessness in the city’s subway system, at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo and with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, is facing a chorus of criticism over the criminalization of poverty and targeting largely of New Yorkers of color. Rather than a police response, these issues can be better handled by stronger safety net programs, including discounted Metrocards, and outreach from social workers, some critics say, while others also point out the MTA is in no fiscal position to hire the planned 500 new

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  • mta phase 14

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


    The New York City Transit and Bus Committee of the MTA Board reported at its October 2019 meeting that weekday ridership of the subway grew 1.4% in September of this year compared to last, and that there have been four straight months of subway ridership gains. The MTA put out a gushing October press releasethat subway weekday ridership this September was up 4.5% over

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  • mtapd grad

    (photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin)


    MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye says the transit authority’s operating budget is in “dire” condition and independent budget watchdogs are alarmed its deficit is growing to unmanageable levels. Citizens Budget Commission estimates the MTA will be $740 million in the red in 2023 -- and this does not include new debt payments for the new, massive $51.5+ billion 2020-2024 capital plan. Separately, NYPD data shows subway crime is down 3% from

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  • 23 mta 600

    (photo: Patrick J. Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)


    September 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The MTA's New $52 Billion Plan to Save the Subways & More

    nicole gelinas wbaiThe MTA Board just passed a new five-year, $51.5 billion capital plan largely aimed at upgrading the New York City subways. Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute joined the show to discuss the new capital

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  • gov mta transit

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    On Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released an 11-page slideshow “overview” partially summarizing the details of its nearly $55 billion 2020-2024 capital plan. The unveiling seemed like Christmas morning - according to MTA CEO/Chair Pat Foye, the plan will sell itself. Everyone will get the pony that they asked for. NYCT President Andy Byford was “ecstatically happy” and elected

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  • govcuomoprogre

    (photo: the governor's office)


    MTA officials acknowledged at their June 2019 board meetings that the agency is borrowing money to be repaid through a New York State law that promised to have the State of New York provide the MTA $7.3 billion once the authority had exhausted its own funds on spending for the current five-year capital program.

    The 2016 state law was merely an “IOU," there had been no specific source of funds identified for how the state would pay the money, nor has there been any plan developed since enactment in the state budget that

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  • subway construction

    (photo: City Council)


    If City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, like-minded lawmakers, and a chorus of transit advocates get their way, New York City will become far less dominated by cars over the next few years.

    Talk of “breaking car culture” by increasing options and protections for bikes, buses, and pedestrians

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  • mta bus electric

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


    One of the most frustrating things about local New York City politics is that many people who believe in progressive ideas on the national stage do an about-face when it comes to progressive change on the local level, often when that change might actually touch their day-to-day lives in some way.

    This phenomenon has been captured perfectly by the current debate around the 14th Street busway -- a pilot program approved by the mayor, which would prioritize public transit and trucks over private cars on one of the

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  • speaker cojo

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    July 17, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Transit Organizing & the Future of the MTA

    john raskin wbaiJohn Raskin, founder and executive director of Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, joined the show to discuss his organizing work over the past seven years and the future of the MTA as he plans to depart the nonprofit after several major wins, including

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  • govcuomo 96th

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    I just returned to New York City from a month in Paris, where my husband was doing legal work. A regular public transit user at home, I was the same in Paris, making use of its Metro system. But because I did not inform myself of all the rules, I violated one of them and had to pay a fine. The experience helped me think about the fare evasion challenge we’re dealing with in New York. 

    As in our subway system, there is one fare to travel throughout the city on the Paris Metro. I bought discounted “carnets”

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  • bx6 select bus inter ave

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


    Elected officials, advocates, and especially riders agree: the city’s bus system is broken.

    That consensus was reached in recent years as bus speeds slowed to a crawl and the system hemorrhaged ridership. Various advocacy groups and elected officials have put forth studies and plans, and the entities with actual control -- the state-run Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York City Mayor’s Office -- have taken steps toward improving the situation, though

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  • city council cojo work train

    Speaker Johnson on the train (photo: City Council's office)


    Imagine a New York where cars no longer rule the road, and pedestrians and cyclists reclaim dominance of the city’s public space. While a New York where cars don’t dominate the streets may seem like a fantasy, to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, it is the future.

    In recent months, Johnson -- a Manhattan Democrat in his second year leading the 51-member City Council -- has gone full bore touting the idea of “breaking car culture,” or prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists,

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  • oped gov cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo on the subway (photo: the governor's office)


    At the end of the state legislative session that just finished several steps were taken to consolidate Governor Cuomo’s power over the MTA. First, he swapped out two of his ‘independent’ appointees to the MTA Board for two members of his state cabinet, Robert Mujica, his budget director, and Linda Lacewell, commissioner of the Department of Financial Services.

    Second, in order to legitimize the board appointment of someone who is not a resident of the MTA region, the law was changed to provide that the state budget

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  • MTA Cuomo finances

    (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    We call it the distraction circus. Donald Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon, called it “flooding the zone with sh*t” to befuddle the news media and critics. Whatever you call it, the endless kerfuffle Governor Cuomo is stirring around the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is obscuring what we think are the MTA’s potentially catastrophic money problems.

    Yes, even after new revenue from congestion pricing is factored in, the MTA is still in big financial trouble.

    Five very big things jump out in terms of the MTA’s

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  • reopeningmta

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


    In advance of the MTA Board meeting taking place today (Wednesday, May 22), Reinvent Albany and ten other groups including Riders Alliance, TransitCenter, Regional Plan Association, and others sent a letter asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to make sure that the process for developing its reorganization plan -- as ...

  • state otc ad spk co jo del

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With subway and bus riders so frustrated with poor service, it is understandable that city leaders are talking about changing the governance of the MTA and its New York City Transit (NYCT) division as a solution.

    Most notably, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has come up with a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided plan to break NYCT off from the MTA and vest full responsibility for its funding and operation in a mayor-controlled structure he’s named Big Apple Transit, or

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  • Cuomo subway MTA

    Gov. Cuomo inspects track work (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    The subway (plan) is delayed again.

    While subway service has improved since the nadir that led to the current (and controversial) “state of emergency,” it’s obvious to anyone who rides the system enough or just watches the New York City Transit Twitter feed that there’s still a ways to go before everything is at or near full strength.

    But while the Metropolitan

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  • mta chairman foye

    MTA Chair Pat Foye (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    In recent weeks, Pat Foye, the new CEO/Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has twice publicly committed to improving the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and open data processes at the MTA. This is welcome news and an essential step forward for a government authority that has lost a great deal of public trust and is widely perceived as being politicized by the governor’s office. Our organization, Reinvent Albany, will strongly support this push by Foye and we hope it is a small down payment

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  • govandrewcuomo canarsie engineer

    (photo: governor's office)


    For those of us who want the MTA to finish a favorite project before our grandchildren are retired, now is the absolute best time to let Governor Cuomo know how you feel. The MTA is finalizing a document that will shape the New York region’s public transportation system for decades. Construction firms, unions, suppliers, and real estate interests are all lobbying the MTA to protect and further their own interests.

    Every five years, the MTA issues a report of its capital needs for the next 20

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  • gov andrewcuomo int

    (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    For nearly a year, activists have raised alarm-bells about how New York is creating the digital equivalent of widespread “stop & frisk” -- expansive new surveillance systems. One of the latest missteps comes from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who last July launched an MTA facial recognition program to scan drivers as they cross bridges and tunnels. For months, simply

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  • govcuomo photos

    (photo: governor's office)


    My organization, Reinvent Albany, applauds Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing congestion pricing in the state budget. Yet we are concerned about it being undermined by boundless exemptions for politically powerful interest groups, and a proliferation of other new structures and requirements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that passed along with the tolling program.

    Paradoxically, the MTA legislative “reform” package also included a deal for the Legislature to approve new CEO/Chair Pat Foye without

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