Saturday, September 5, 2009

MTA shortchanged by Bloomberg

From Huffington Post:

In August, Mayor Bloomberg released his crowd-pleasing plan to "reform mass transit" as part of his third-term election push. The plan is full of good ideas that just about every New Yorker can support. Things like express train service to Coney Island, free cross-town buses, and countdown clocks in the subway would improve the commutes of millions of daily transit riders.

The only problem? The Mayor doesn't control any of that.

What the Mayor does control is the city's capital budget. The capital budget is huge--$60 billion dollars over ten years. It includes a wide range of different city capital needs, like school construction and rehabilitation, expansion and repair of the sewer and water systems, and housing preservation and development. It also includes money for mass transit, but not nearly enough.

The Mayor's capital budget allocates a measly $60 million a year toward mass transit. This equals about one percent of the MTA's capital budget, which is much less than the city has allocated to the MTA in the past. Historically, the city's contributions equaled about ten percent of the MTA's capital budget.

The MTA has said that it needs about $100 million every year from the city to support the transit system's program of rehabilitation and expansion. Why is the Mayor shortchanging the city's mass transit system? If the Mayor is keen to improve mass transit in New York City, he should begin by making a larger commitment from the city's huge capital budget.

From 2005-2009, the city was contributing much more to the MTA. But that money went towards the #7 line extension, a project that will be a huge boon for real estate developer Related Companies. The #7 line will be extended to the Hudson Yards on Manhattan's far west side, where Related Companies has plans to build office and condo towers. (This is the same Related Companies that refuses to pay living wages at the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment in the Bronx). Meanwhile, communities in the outer boroughs continue to deal with rapid population increases and inadequate levels of service.


Cartoon from Cristian Fleming

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

More crooks. I can't stand the idea that the crooked politicians give money to the crooked MTA and help the crooked developers. Not all, I am painting with a broad stroke, but there are far too many for a working stiff like me to support. We should limit the number of crooks who can steal our tax money. Better yet let's put them in jail with Bernie.

Anonymous said...

So Casey Jones Bloomberg wants to run our trains and buses?

Yeah....right!

Notice how he keeps on changing his TV ads to counteract the latest subject of criticism from the voters?

His current one purports him to be a friend of the middle class while
everybody knows he's not!

The truth is that Mayor Mike has been a train wreck for the past 8 years.

Let's not give him a third term at the throttle!

Frank said...

Why is Yasser Arafat the subway conductor?

Anonymous said...

But has the Mayor said that he wants to get control of the TA back from the MTA?

Nope.

Patrick Sweeney said...

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but there's nothing terribly wrong right now as far as operating the MTA goes. Down the road, though, are they spending enough on maintenance, are they going to complete LIRR/GC access, are they going to complete the 2nd Ave line?

Doesn't the mayor control enough of the budget and life of the city already?

Vernon Malcolm said...

THem boys in Bayside are the most dangerous and backwards of all. The city should toughen inspections for medical, psychiatric and vehicle reasons to cut down the number of congestion. This way, we will also get the voters against congestion pricing, who live in Bayside and Staten Island, to move away. Free health care means psychiatric care for all those angry talk radio white males!