Today, state comptroller Tom DiNapoli faulted the M.T.A. for letting more than $90 million just sit there when, "in these tough times, every dollar counts.”
“Our auditors identified several ways in which the MTA could vastly improve how it manages its cash and investments. The MTA must do better," said the comptroller, in a statement.
Today, school bus drivers initiated their first strike in decades, leaving more than 100,000 schoolchildren without an easy way to get to school. Thus far, however, the M.T.A. is reporting no problems accommodating extra students.
For the first time in more than a week, North Brooklyn has subway service, as the G train resumed operation.
Unlike their counterparts in Staten Island and Rockaway, Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents emerged from Sandy largely unscathed.
Nevertheless, their patience with the city's otherwise widely lauded transit recovery efforts is growing thin.
Congestion pricing is dead, the government seems ever more unwilling to fund New York City's mass transit system, and the authority that runs that system continues to take on debt, with no apparent end in sight.
Six years and two chairmen ago, when George W. Bush was still president and George Pataki the governor, the M.T.A. tested out a new technology that promised to hasten commutes and lessen the authority’s overhead: a smart card.(2)
There's a surprise in store for riders of the 7 train and the Lexington Avenue line.
By 2016, the year that the M.T.A. hopes to complete installation of a modern signaling system along the 7 line, the M.T.A. will have swapped out the line's cars for newer ones from the Lexington Avenue line, Capital has learned.
Some Lexington Avenue riders, meanwhile, will get stuck with the old 7 train cars. (The newest 7 cars have been in use for about 25 years.) The M.T.A. has yet to determine which of the three Lexington Avenue lines—the 4, 5, or 6—will be affected.(4)
Since the passage of the 2009 payroll mobility tax, which channels more than $1 billion a year into the financially beleaguered M.T.A.'s coffers, one thing has become abundantly, unavoidably clear: the suburbs revile the tax, their legislators will do whatever it takes to roll it back, and the M.T.A. is going to, sooner rather than later, have to find itself a new dedicated revenue stream.(1)
Chris Bragg, a very good political reporter, was let go from City and State for cost-cutting reasons, sources familiar with the publication said. The reason, according to these sources, was a lack of revenue from the digital side of the publication, where Bragg focused his work.(1)
M.T.A. chairman Joe Lhota may recently have given Long Island commuters expanded service, but he apparently hasn't earned the financially struggling regional transit authority any slack from Long Island legislators.
A handful of New York City Council members proposed that subway stations get letter grades, just like city restaurants currently do. The idea was floated during a City Council budget hearing where officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were testifying.
The response? One M.T.A. spokesman at the hearing simply said, "No." Later, another spokesman, Adam Lisberg, said, "We don’t see any value in giving subway stations letter grades for cleanliness."
The idea seemed to comport with the emphasis placed by the mayor and governor on assessing public services and exposing inefficiencies. The proposal comes as the authority also plans a hike in fares for commuters. The chair of the City Council's transportation committee, Jimmy Vacca of the Bronx, said that fare hike is what makes the grading system a necessity.
"If they are going to raise the fare, damn it, we're entitled to accountability" Vacca said.
The idea goes something like this.
There are, for the most part, existing freight tracks running from Bay Ridge up through Queens and across the Hell Gate Bridge into the Bronx. Freight traffic on those rails is light. And there is, theoretically, enough space alongside them to accommodate some form of commuter rail.
“It doesn’t have to be a subway type car,” said Zupan. “It could be somewhat smaller, but still operate as a train with multiple cars.”(13)
Tom Allon, who is publishing and selling ads for City & State and running for mayor at the same time, told me the departure of editor Adam Lisberg for a job at the M.T.A. "has more to do with the Governor than with my mayoral campaign."(1)
Adam Lisberg, the editor of Manhattan Media's biweekly politics newspaper City & State and former City Hall bureau chief of the Daily News, is, as reporters put it, going to the other side. Starting March 30, his new title will be "director of external communications" for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, where he "will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the press office and for setting a communications agenda for the agency."