Planes Trains & Automobiles
New York City mayoral front-runner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn unveiled her mass transit agenda this morning. While she emphasized increased control for the city’s next mayor, Ms. Quinn had no new ideas.
Her headline proposal is to take control of the MTA back from the state. But taking over the MTA is a tall order, and to do it, she’ll need to prove that she has better ideas about how to run it than the state.
So does she?
Joe Lhota, it seems, wants to finish the job that Governor Nelson Rockefeller started. Speaking to the Staten Island Advance last week, the frontrunner laid out the most ambitious transportation proposal yet of the 2013 mayoral race: give New York City back its bridges and tunnels.
“The former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” the editorial board wrote, “said that if he were to be elected mayor, he would seek to get full mayoral control of the bridges and tunnels in the city.”
Aside from the untolled East River bridges that belong to the city—the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges—major river crossings between the five boroughs belong to the state, under the guise of the MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
Forget about getting annoyed at crazy weekend subway and bus schedules—apparently you’re actually quite satisfied with subway and bus service! Straphangers across the city told the M.T.A. their rides were not as bad as one might think, according to the agency’s 2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey, which was released today.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
The first thing on my platform is that the next M.T.A. chief need not be a train buff. He or she—or me specifically, since I’m hereby throwing my name out there—has to appreciate the economic essentiality of the authority, which moves the equivalent of New Jersey’s population (8.5 million, give or take) every weekday. But this is not a Lionel set; this is dollars and nonsense.
The next chief should know more about transit financing, particularly the warren navigated in simply keeping the four-pronged monster afloat. As it stands now, it’s a ready-made punch line, with the nation’s largest transit system held hostage to a dysfunctional Albany.
Jay Walder has announced that he is stepping down as head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in October. (more…)
Lies Damned Lies and...
Public transportation cuts are hindering home sales in the city, the Wall Street Journal writes today.
That finding should prove uncontroversial with anyone who’s bought, sold or rented an apartment in the city’s outer reaches. But the Journal story is pretty thin on data to back up what some frustrated residents and real estate Read More
“[The apartment building] is superbly situated one block from Central Park, B/C/1/2/3 trains and cross-town bus.”
This is, appropriately, the first line of the Shares of New York listing for the three-bedroom, Upper West Side condo recently purchased by M.T.A. chairman and CEO Jay Walder and wife, Susan Walder-Cummings, for $1.599 million from an unidentitfied buyer shielded by Read More
The perennial attempt to hike subway and bus fares is one of the more ritualistic political dances in New York. Any leader of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority who ever tries logic (fares, adjusted for inflation, are virtually the same as in the mid-1990s) is inevitably met with a blast of criticism. Politicians decry the move. Read More
The M.T.A. on Monday made public its new $1 billion deal with Stephen Ross’ Related Companies to develop the West Side rail yards, and in it are some details about just when the agency can start to expect taking in rent for selling off the air over its giant 26-acre LIRR yard by the Read More
Lest onlookers be consumed with the M.T.A.’s current fiscal woes—it has another $319 million gap to fill even after approving a big round of major service cuts and more belt tightening, according to the state comptroller—the transit agency on Friday reminded riders that it is headed for a long-term financial reckoning as well.
Chairman Jay Walder Read More