After riding the Subway for the first time since April, it seems the Mayor might finally get it… he’s picking a fight with the MTA, shape-up-or-ship-out style.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was spotted on the Subway for the first time in two months, since his April 19 visit:
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) June 14, 2017
Like many New Yorkers, it seems our Mayor isn’t impressed by the sorry state of our subway, and he’s ready to fight for better public transport in the city, namely warning the MTA to fix it or the city will. In a comment reported by the New York Post, De Blasio had this to say:
“I’d say if the MTA can fix the problem, that is the optimal solution, […] If the MTA will not fix the problem, I’d rather have the city of New York run it.”
The MTA didn’t take the threat lying down, the MTA Director of Communications, Beth DeFlaco, came back with this:
“There is no mystery to maintenance – it’s funding, […] We have the plans, but we need the money, and we need the city to pay their fair share of operating funds because their shortchanging mass transit is shortsighted for New York. The mayor should learn from the Penn Station collapse.”
Valid points in our opinion. It seems like our underfunded transport may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. De Blasio did promise that he would be much more vocal about transit issues and ride with the straphangers more often.
It does make us wonder how much of De Blasio’s renewed interest in the subway has to do with the mayor’s love-hate relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, around the same time, received a scolding from residents of the city on Twitter about the state of the city’s public transport.
We’ll keep you posted as more develops, but power shifting to the city in terms of transport probably isn’t likely in the near future, and there’s nothing saying they would do a better job than the MTA, especially if the problem is funding.