Thursday: Linda Rosenthal Hosting NYC Transit Chief to Talk M104 Cuts, Subway Overhaul and More

State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal will host a “community conversation” with Andy Byford, the president of New York City Transit, this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Rutgers Presbyterian Church. The talk is cosponsored by the Riders Alliance and the Straphangers Campaign. You can RSVP by calling 212-873-6368.

Byford started the job in January, inheriting a system that’s now in disarray, with record delays, reports of enormous government waste, and increasingly frustrated commuters.

Governor Cuomo controls the MTA, and state legislators have conducted little oversight of the public agency, even though it spends billions of public dollars and has enormous impacts on the daily lives of New Yorkers. Rosenthal has been speaking out more lately, however, as has Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell. Both criticized the MTA’s plan to renovate three subway stations on the B-C line on the Upper West Side without making them more accessible to people with disabilities, for instance. Rosenthal has also led the charge to halt the MTA’s cuts to M104 service, and O’Donnell has sponsored a bill to tax millionaires to help pay for subway capital expenses.

One important question: Will this kind of interaction lead to more oversight and engagement?

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      The subways are atrocious. It seems that every morning there’s another problem. It’s a big drain on productivity and the economy when people waste their time waiting for trains.

      Taxing millionaires will not solve the problem. It might sound good politically but it will not make the trains run better.

      A few months ago the NYTimes had a long article about the subway problems and all the corruption, bureaucracy and waste endemic in the system. The MTA needs better management, not more money.

      Linda Rosenthal should stop having “community conversations” as everyone knows the trains are awful.

      • dannyboy says:

        “Linda Rosenthal should stop having ‘community conversations'”

        It takes community involvement (see my comment just below yours).

        The last guy who figured he could get the trains running on time was Italian, I believe.

    2. dannyboy says:

      “One important question: Will this kind of interaction lead to more oversight and engagement?”

      It must. The MTA uses queuing algorithms to determine the required number of buses. But, of course, the inputs are Bus Schedule and Ridership. Since the buses do NOT ride on schedule, the riders suffer.

      Garbage in, garbage out.

    3. Having efficient public transportation in such a densely populated city is essential and should be prioritized. We need to have fewer cars and taxis and a better/safer bicycle system. These improvements would make it much easier for NYC to reduce greenhouse gasses and slow down climate change.

      It seems as if Gov. Cuomo is not making it a priority. He pretends to be an environmentalist but, though he finally banned fracking in NYS, thanks to persistence of activist groups, he allows fracked gas into NYS. What a phony! What is he doing about climate change? Improving our public transportation would make a huge difference, if we also reduced the number of cars/cabs and replaced more of the old buses that emit fumes and enforced the car idling law. Buses could be the new cabs if traffic was reduced by reducing number of cars and taxis.

    4. Rob says:

      How is the Fix NY congestion pricing plan not up for discussion? Of course Cuomo’s MTA needs to figure out how to get costs under control, but it still needs revenues. A millionaire’s tax doesn’t have any votes right now, and frankly, could be used to improve our schools and other needs.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        what do you mean “a millionaires tax doesn’t have any votes”? it can and has passed the Assembly and can pass the State Senate if the Republicans are ousted.

    5. Dr. Susan Spieler says:

      What is being done to plan for impacts on the subways of sea level rise. As a result of Superstorm Sandy, the subways were flooded and costs of repairs were considerable. Sea level rise is a real problem for our wonderful BUT coastal city. Though we on the UWS are a bit more protected because we are more elevated than lower Manhattan, we will all be impacted by flooded subways if NYS doesn’t come up with a good plan in advance. Now is the time!

    6. Alan Flacks says:

      You ask: “One important question: Will this kind of interaction lead to more oversight and engagement?” No. Years of observation of the M.T.A./N.Y.C.Transit Authority show that the M.T.A. is impervious to outsiders’ suggestions–even if they come from noted transit advocates and legislators.

    7. Rima Starr says:

      Where are those street bus dispatchers who, when busses piled up one behind another because of traffic problems, they would space them out? It makes no sense: I have waited a half hour for a 104 bus only to have 4 busses pull up right in a row…..And this is so true for crosstown 66th, 72nd, 79th,etc…Also, there are more elderly folks in NYC, we need to have more ways to transport them. With regular busses stopping, delaying, and filling up with wheel chairs are large walkers, it just doesn’t work.

      • dannyboy says:

        “Where are those street bus dispatchers who, when busses piled up one behind another because of traffic problems, they would space them out?”

        Rima, you are too generous.
        The bus pile ups are intentional.
        Makes for fewer stops for each bus.