Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the crumbling subway system in New York City.
Cuomo also pledged $1 billion in order to fix the MTA and appointed a new head of the MTA, Joe Lhota, who held the position from 2011-2012 before an unsuccessful run for mayor.
As the subway system becomes worse and worse and NYC residents continue to see their morning commutes become increasingly long and confusing journeys of misery, Cuomo and Lhota are trying to figure out a way to halt the decay of public transit in the city.
Last week, two days after an A train derailed, Joe Lhota signaled his intention to reevaluate the entire subway system,
“We are going to do a top-to-bottom analysis of the entire system. We are going to come up with a long-term plan, a detailed long-term plan, to overhaul the organizational structure and modernize the entire subway system. No idea is too crazy, no idea is too ambitious.”
Now, an investigation from New York Daily News reveals that those in power positions at the MTA seldom actually use the transit service.
From Daily News,
“A Daily News analysis found that two transit honchos swiped their free MTA-issued MetroCards only once between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016. Another used it only twice during that two-year window.”
Daily News got the receipts,
“Nine used their cards between 12 and 85 times during that period… Five others swiped their cards an average of once per week during that time frame — far less than a commuting straphanger who typically uses the subway at least 10 times a week.”
While it may not be the biggest political scandal of all-time that MTA officials don’t actually use the subway, it is pretty revealing.
How can an institution function at its fullest capabilities and provide a decent service if the powers that be therein don’t USE THAT SERVICE?
New Yorkers are getting stuck in tunnels for hours, trains are literally going off the rails, fare prices are rising, and people in the upper echelons of the MTA don’t even take the damn train.
I’ve abandoned all hope that the subway will ever get any better, let alone function on a day to day basis.
The $1 billion stimulus package Cuomo just threw at the MTA to feign some sort of action will not suddenly just fix the MTA.
Cuomo said himself this problem has literally been generations in the making, “It happens all of a sudden and the temptation is to say, ‘Well, something must have caused it.’ No. A lifetime caused it. Bad habits caused it.”
If the top brass of the MTA actually, you know, took the subway, maybe we’d be headed in the right direction. Alas, shout out the bus.