Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

MTA

MTA

  • 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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  • cuomo carol kellerman

    (photo: governor's office)


    Everyone complains that our regional mass transit system is in disrepair, but no one wants to pay to make the needed fixes and modernizations. Have we finally found a way?

    Ten years after legislation was first proposed by Mayor Bloomberg, the state Legislature passed a plan for what has been named “central business district tolling,” otherwise known as congestion pricing, in Manhattan as part of the fiscal year 2019-20 budget. The basic concept is that driving into the central core of Manhattan – defined as

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  • Cuomo top aides new budget deal 2019 2020

    Cuomo and top aides announce budget deal (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed on a $175.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins Monday, that includes several significant policy changes for New York, including a congestion pricing program for New York City, a plastic bag ban of sorts, major criminal justice reforms, and a commitment to enact through a new commission a campaign finance program that includes public matching funds.

    The deal,

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  • Trottenberg de Blasio DOT

    Trottenberg, middle, with de Blasio, left (photo: NYC DOT)


    New York needs to rapidly build more subway stops, get people out of cars, rethink its approach to parking, and keep working to drive down historically low numbers of deaths due to vehicle crashes on city streets.

    So said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Board member Polly Trottenberg, appearing on a recent

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 68 -- 202, with City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    polly trottenberg wtdp march 2019New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg joined the podcast to discuss her tenure and approach to managing city streets and

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  • gov cuomo mta fare increase

    (photo: governor's office)


    It’s decision time for the New York State Legislature on the State budget, due March 31, and it’s still not clear congestion pricing has the votes to pass. I’ve been an advocate for congestion pricing since Mayor Bloomberg first proposed it in 2007 and I know that this is the year to get it done.

    The two houses of the State Legislature each pass a “one-house” budget resolution in early March to outline their budget priorities: this year the State Assembly one-house budget articulates that the Assembly

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 67 -- 4.7 MPH, Traffic & Transit with Nicole Gelinas [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    wtdp nicole gelinasNicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute is an expert on New York City transit, street use, and traffic. She joined the podcast to discuss her recent report on "decongesting" New York

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  •  mta cuomo cojo

    Gov. Cuomo (governor's office) & Speaker Johnson (William Alatriste/City Council)


    On February 26, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio released a 10-point plan to “transform and fund” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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  • govcuomoearly

    (photo: governor's office)


    My organization, Reinvent Albany, strongly supports congestion pricing and new revenue for the MTA, but we believe the MTA’s biggest organizational problem is the Governor’s endless political meddling and sidelining of the MTA’s and New York City Transit’s (NYCT) professional staff.

    We hope the hastily contrived MTA restructuring recently presented by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio in their “...

  • citycouncil r bay

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • de Blasio city hall budget

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio received a warmer reception in Albany on Monday than he has in past years as he testified before the state Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposal and how it would affect New York City. Over the course of more than two hours, the mayor argued for more education funding, emphasized the need for a comprehensive revenue plan for the MTA, enlisted legislators to help fend off proposed funding cuts and costs shifts, and defended his

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  • govcuomo jus

    Mayor de Blasio applauds Governor Cuomo (photo via the Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech and accompanying $175.2 billion state budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 had something for everything. The 354-page policy book lays out proposals, big and small, on everything from criminal justice reform, transit and infrastructure funding, workforce protections to rent regulations, voting and ethics reform, farmer benefits, legalizing marijuana, women’s rights and reproductive health, LGBTQ protections, and environmental regulation, to name

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  • cuomo sotos ja

    (photo via the Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat starting his third term, laid out an ambitious social, economic, and racial “justice agenda” at his State of the State speech on Tuesday as he also presented a $175.2 billion executive budget proposal for the 2020 state fiscal year that begins April 1.

    Speaking at the Hart Theater in Albany, Cuomo celebrated full Democratic control of the State Legislature for the first time in his tenure and promised quick movement on a raft of legislation within the first 100 days of the new legislative

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  • Cuomo MTA L train

    Cuomo tours the L tunnel (photo: The Governor's Office)


    There’s far more to what Governor Andrew Cuomo is saying than what he says at a major announcement. And when an announcement concerns New York’s public transportation, you can bet it’s a calculated communications decision with serious long-term implications.

    On Thursday, January 3, Governor Cuomo announced he was slamming the brakes on the L train shutdown. After consulting for three weeks with an independent panel of experts, his team insists repairing the Canarsie Tunnel connecting Brooklyn and

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