Make the MTA Work

The Story

New York’s buses and subways are a mess, and part of the problem is New York’s elected officials: they continually deflect responsibility for running the MTA. Now, Council Speaker Corey Johnson has proposed devolving control of the transit system to city government, which would put it under mayoral control, like any other municipal agency. While the plan raises as many questions as it answers, it is a bold proposal that would assign clear responsibility for making the trains run on time.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Suburbs: Currently, city subway and bus fares subsidize commuter train rides for suburban office workers, and suburban legislators will have to approve the change. Read more.

  2. Labor: The new proposal demands action on escalating labor costs, which has been the third rail of MTA reform. Read more.

  3. Farebox: Declining subway and bus ridership is affecting revenue—and service. Read more.

“Our economy lives and dies on how people move around. If we want to survive, we’ve got to get this right.”

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Question Authorities By E. J. McMahon (February 26, 2004)

“The push to overhaul New York’s public authorities was kicked into higher gear this week by a package of ‘reform’ proposals from state Comptroller Alan Hevesi and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.”

And in other news...

“In New York, the state budget is often used as a vehicle to tuck in nonfiscal initiatives, and this year is no exception.”