Today’s Headlines

  • NYCT Prez Howard Roberts Forced to Step Down in MTA Shakeup (NYT, News)
  • Meet His Replacement: Former NYC Subway Chief Tom Prendergast (News)
  • How Will Bloomberg Pay for His Transit Promises? (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Mayor Expected to Face Stiffer Resistance From City Council in Third Term (NYT)
  • NYC Dems Blame Obama, Quinn for Thompson Loss (NYT, News)
  • More NYers Voted for John Liu Than Any Other Candidate (Politicker)
  • Out-of-Service City Bus Kills Pedestrian on Ninth Ave in Hell’s Kitchen (News)
  • Okay Yankee Fans, You’ve Got Another Ring, But You’re Not Riding the Train Enough (WNYC)
  • Vancouverites — Even Drivers — Want to Keep a Lane for Bikes on Burrard Bridge (Sun via Planetizen)
  • London’s Mayor Boris Rides to the Rescue on His Trusty Bicycle (Guardian)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Some reality from Boston, similar to ours:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/11/04/report_finds_ts_riders_at_risk/

    “A decade of systemic neglect and mounting financial problems has left the MBTA with public safety issues that are far more serious than previously revealed and swiftly growing worse, according to a devastating independent report ordered by Governor Deval Patrick.”

    “The report, obtained by the Globe yesterday, found that the agency has left more than 50 critically important safety projects unfunded because of a “mountain of red ink.’’ In the unsparing words of the author, if the MBTA were a private firm, it “would likely fold or seek bankruptcy.”

    They are setting up to manage acquiescence to diminished services and an end to improvements.

    “As homeowners painfully learned in the subprime mortgage debacle, it is only a matter of time before those delayed payments are due…That time has arrived.’’ By 2013, the report said, the agency’s annual debt payment will reach $525 million.”

    Even adjusting for the relative size of the regions, our debt is worse. On the other hand, they got the 20/50 pension, with pension spiking abuses on top of it. No wonder the TWU is so angry. The wanted the MTA and New York area destroyed, but they wanted more of the profit.

  • J. Mork

    NYC Dems Blame Obama, Quinn for Thompson Loss

    Because it couldn’t possibly be because Bloomberg was a better candidate, right?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Pensions, retiree health care are the issues in the Philadelphia strike. SEPTA is offering an 11% raise at a time when most workers are getting wage cuts, but wants fore employee contributions to both.

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20091105_Funding_union_pensions_a_sticking_point_in_SEPTA_talks.html

    “SEPTA workers vowed yesterday to “stay out as long as it takes.”

    Might as well. Public services and benefits are doomed, and younger generations will pay more in taxes but not get them. Might as well get used to it now, when some of those who benefitted are around to feel it.

  • A quote from last year:

    Janette Sadik-Khan, chair of New York City’s Transit Commission and a commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, has worked with Prendergast for more than 20 years in both the public and private sectors. “Tom has the leadership and technical skills to move large and complex transportation projects forward. He compliments this with a genuine sensitivity for the impact on the community and for the benefits ultimately delivered to customers. We’re sorry to lose him — his move is a big loss for New York and a major gain for Metro Vancouver.”

    It might even be that Walder asked Sadik-Khan for a recommendation, which would indicate an unprecedented level of cooperation between the MTA and the DOT.

    My only reservation is that Prendergast lived in Monroe Township, NJ before moving to Vancouver, and told Mass Transit Magazine, “Of course, the opportunity to bring my family to one of the most livable places in the world was a factor in my decision personally.” This suggests that his preferred lifestyle, and his preferred way to raise a family, involves lots of driving. How good is he going to be at running the buses and subways if he doesn’t believe in them?

  • Glenn

    What I would like to see the Council do is lean on the Mayor to back up his words with more tangible actions and try to out-do Bloomberg on environmental issues. It’s a winning issue and I wish more Councilmembers would rise to the challenge.