No Progress at the MTA

The Story


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Photo: Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

The state legislative session is drawing to a close without achieving any concrete progress at the MTA. The MTA once could say that, for all its faults, at least it ran the trains on time. That’s no longer the case, though performance has improved in recent months. Breaking up the multijurisdictional authority would raise too many thorny issues, especially with its insurmountable level of debt. Nevertheless, New York depends on efficient transit, and somehow, the state needs to straighten out the MTA.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Yessir: With Governor Cuomo strong-arming the legislature to let him put a close ally on the MTA board, it is more clear than ever that the MTA is controlled by the governor. Read more.

  2. Managers: Transit managers and experts hired to run parts of the system—like Andy Byford, in charge of the trains—are denied the freedom to exercise true authority. Read more.

  3. LIRR: The disproportionate influence of Long Island legislators in Albany ensures that the Long Island Rail Road enjoys generous subsidies from bus and subway riders. Read more.

“The MTA insulates elected officials from accountability for transportation, without shouldering accountability itself.”

Nicole Gelinas, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

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