Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Subways

Subways

  • 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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  • 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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  • flushing amid pandemic

    Governor Cuomo disinfects a subway car (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    The subway is New York’s circulatory system. If it doesn’t recover, New York won’t. But reopening the subway and the city means more than running more trains: It also means helping homeless New Yorkers who today have nowhere else safe to go.  

    That is because, as Governor Cuomo demonstrated, the city’s transit crisis is too entwined with its housing crisis for the MTA alone to bring the subway back. In response to the rising number of New Yorkers with no choice

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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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  • brooklyn bridge ave 33rd cityhall

    Policing the subways (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    If you’ve ridden the subway recently, you could be forgiven for feeling watched. The MTA’s fare evasion crackdown is ubiquitous; subway cars are plastered with phrases like “We’d rather your $2.75 fare than your $100 fine.” Governor Cuomo’s ...

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Cuomo subway repairs

    Gov. Cuomo underground (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With the transit system in New York City in constant crisis over a sustained period of time, from delayed trains underground to ever-dropping bus speeds on the streets, the question of how exactly to fix mass transit has been on the minds of elected and appointed officials, advocates and analysts, and, of course, frustrated commuters. In the aftermath of the short-term Subway Action Plan, the ...

  • gov cuomo congepric

    Cuomo in the midst of his ABNY presentation


    One major issue that hung over the 2018 state budget season was congestion pricing, a plan to charge a fee to all motor vehicles entering parts of Manhattan and diverting the revenue toward funding the beleaguered subway system. Governor Andrew Cuomo directed a panel to study the issue, which determined that a congestion pricing scheme should be implemented and offered options for what it could look like, including a three-year, three-phase proposal. Activist groups applied significant public pressure on the governor and the

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  • mta subway action

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


    The fight to fix our ailing transit system took a significant step forward in May when New York City Transit President Andy Byford released his “Fast Forward” plan to dramatically accelerate comprehensive fixes to our city’s subways and buses. We, along with many other legislators and advocates, praised the plan and Byford’s work to create it. Fast Forward isn’t just a clear roadmap to a modern subway system; it’s also a very necessary roadmap to MTA reform.

    Now it’s time for the MTA to take the next step toward

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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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  • Savino and de Blasio

    Senator Savino and Mayor de Blasio at lunch (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    As a debate rages over the appropriate law enforcement response to subway fare evasion, in Albany, a bill steepening the penalty for certain subway sex offenses is getting another look.

    During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ...

  • 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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  • map 9788


    New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must reform their governing institutions, overhaul and integrate their transit networks, fight climate change, and make it less costly to live in the region. Those are the four major thematic prescriptions of the Fourth Regional Plan, a comprehensive vision released on Thursday by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), a prominent urban think tank that has advocated for comprehensive urban development projects in the tri-state region for more than 90 years.

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  • de Blasio subway tax

    De Blasio on the train (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Amid an ongoing feud -- between the Mayor Bill de Blasio on one side and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on the other -- over funding for mass transit infrastructure in New York City, 27 New York City Council Members on Thursday announced support for the mayor’s proposal to tax wealthy New Yorkers to raise money for subway and bus improvements.

    The mayor has pitched a tax increase on the top-most earners in the city as part of his “Fair Fix” plan, which would raise about $700

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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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