The Story

The MTA recently voted to spend $213 million on upgrading some subway stations. Many stations are showing signs of wear, but the proposed changes — including better lighting and the addition of USB ports — are largely cosmetic and will not measurably improve service for weary riders. The MTA’s efforts would be better focused on fixing signaling problems and getting the trains running on time.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Debt: As a quasi-independent entity, the MTA is free to take on more debt without legislative permission, adding to its nearly $40 billion borrowing burden. Read more.

  2. Late: Poor on-time train performance and subway delay measures both indicate that service is getting worse. Read more.

  3. Frustration: Complaints about subway service have more than doubled since 2012. Read more.

“That more people are rejecting mass transit is not a good development in a city that is trying to reduce car usage.”

Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Through a Tunnel Darkly By Nicole Gelinas (July 19, 2005)

“Governor Pataki should shine a searchlight on MTA security.”

And in other news...

“In the wake of the Florida school massacre – in which 17 students and teachers were gunned down in cold blood – Mayor de Blasio ordered police and school officials to protect New York City’s 1.1 million city public school students.”