Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

MTA

MTA

  • govcoumo sub ob

    Governor Cuomo at an MTA train depot (photo: governor's office)


    New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is facing the largest fiscal crisis in its history due to COVID-19. With more federal aid not forthcoming, the MTA has been buying time – quite literally, by borrowing up to $2.9 billion from the Federal Reserve – before the axe will need to fall on service and its workforce. The MTA’s Chief Financial Officer, Bob Foran, said that layoffs would need to start

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  • Cuomo subway cleaning MTA

    Gov. Cuomo cleans the subway (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This story was published in partnership with New York Focus, an independent, investigative news publication covering New York state and city politics.
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    Every night since May 6, a small army of sanitation workers has mopped floors, wiped poles and turnstiles, and wielded electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet lamps to disinfect New York City’s subway system.

    The Metropolitan

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  • lead cuomo rides

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


    Hope that Congress can enact a post-election stimulus package to aid the economy amid another explosion of coronavirus cases has narrowed. One major institution in New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is now out of time to get help. It is therefore necessary for New York State to step up and rescue the MTA before it begins a series of wrenching cutbacks that could permanently harm the New York region. The

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  • mta disinfected covid

    Governor Cuomo talks subways (photo: governor's office)


    A city on the precipice of financial collapse. A federal government unwilling to provide help. Thousands of jobs and vital programs on the line. This was the situation in New York City in 1975, but this description is not far off from the picture in 2020.

    Though the causes of these two crises were different, the effect will most likely be the same: massive budget cuts, especially to new projects. During the 1970s, the MTA was implementing plans to expand the subway system, including building the

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  • pat foye distr

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


    We agree with the MTA that its fate hinges on the federal government, which must provide the MTA at least $10 billion in federal emergency funds through the end of 2021 to prevent the end of the New York City region’s mass transit system as we know it. 

    The MTA’s options without federal aid from its August “doomsday” plan are all terrible. Worse, they are far from exaggerations and are a glimpse into a

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  • honor essential

    Nurses and other essential workers need public transit (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    I am a lifelong New Yorker and public transit rider. In March, when so many of my friends, family, and neighbors stopped commuting, I kept traveling to work. I depend on a bus and two subways to get from my Queens home to the East Side of Manhattan hospital where I’m a pharmacist. 

    Like most people, I had never heard of “essential workers” before COVID-19. Everyone I knew got up and went to work regardless of what job they had. And thankfully, many I know

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  • de Blasio city bus

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


    As the coronavirus public health crisis waned and New York City headed toward entering the first phase of “reopening” its economy after the government-ordered near-shutdown, Mayor Bill de Blasio was under increasing pressure to develop transit plans to help New Yorkers returning to work get around by various and safe means. This was especially true regarding buses.

    While the city’s subways and buses are run by the state-controlled MTA, de Blasio does have significant sway over the bus system

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  • intervale ave bx

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


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

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  • gov tours cars

    Governor Cuomo discusses subways during coronavirus (photo: governor's office)


    The MTA’s recent institution of overnight closure of the subways has attracted a tremendous amount of attention and criticism from advocates for homeless people and many transit advocates. MTA Chair Pat Foye has sought to reassure critics by emphasizing that it is a temporary measure that will end when the pandemic emergency is over. The closure seems to be an attempt to assure transit workers that the MTA is taking their safety seriously and the public that the trains are safe and will not become de

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  • 1 mbd rides cityhall

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Two months after Mayor Bill de Blasio made his nominations for two empty seats on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board, Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to send those nominations to the State Senate for its approval. The inaction continues to leave half of de Blasio’s four seats empty as the Board makes major decisions impacting virtually everyone who lives or works in New York City.

    The MTA Board is composed of 17 voting members, whose decisions have broad impacts on the

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  • cuomo train tunnel MTA subway shutdown

    Gov. Cuomo should close the subways, the author writes (photo: Governor's Office)


    New York City is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States. State and city authorities are pleading with residents to stay home, shelter in place, and maintain distance from fellow New Yorkers to slow the wave of cases crashing into the city’s healthcare facilities.

    Yet, public transportation was running on the standard weekday schedule as of Monday morning. With subway ridership down ridership down 87%, the...

  • mta subway vintage

    Subway ridership has plunged during the coronavirus outbreak (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA NYCT)


    Patrick Foye, the chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and therefore the leader of the city’s subway and bus systems, sent a letter to the local Congressional delegation on March 17 stating that the MTA faced financial calamity and seeking $4 billion in federal aid.

    The MTA’s

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  • mta purchased access

    (photo: Patrick Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)


    Although accessibility is a hot topic of late, is government truly willing to partner in the multifaceted effort required to increase positive outcomes and general quality of life for our city’s residents and visitors with disabilities?

    People seem to enjoy theorizing about its necessity and how long overdue universal design has been, but once the discussion reaches implementation, the ideals suddenly are not as indispensable as they once were.

    I am a Brooklyn-based blind

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  • mta president byford

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


    There will never be another MTA New York City Transit President with the power Andy Byford had when he took the job two years ago. Under Governor Cuomo’s MTA reorganization plan, all future NYCT “Presidents” have been stripped of the power to manage capital projects like replacing signals and switches or buying new rail cars and buses. The next boss of Transit also lost control of a large number of engineering experts and legions of Transit Authority workers who are reimbursed for their time on

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  • mta cuomo arrival

    (photo: Patrick Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)


    Is the MTA’s plan to redesign the Queens bus network an improvement, or will it further destroy the bus system? 

    The MTA released its Draft Queens Bus Network Redesign on December 30. Queens voices have protested the plan from Woodside to ...

  • 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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