Who Runs the MTA? Check Governor Cuomo’s Website for the Answer…

Real-time updates from the MTA, now available ##http://www.governor.ny.gov/##on the governor's website##.

The MTA — the agency elected officials usually try to distance themselves from as much as possible — has lately been serving as the model for effective post-Sandy recovery. And in a welcome turn, Governor Andrew Cuomo himself has taken center stage when all eyes are on the MTA’s performance. There are even real-time MTA service status updates on his website.

Cuomo has “made it clear to all New Yorkers, if there was any question” that he runs the MTA, Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Noah Budnick told Capital earlier this month.

In the past month, Cuomo has issued 28 press releases about the MTA, including announcements about service shutdowns and restorations. The governor’s other MTA press releases this year can be counted on two hands and are only tangentially related to the authority itself.

Hurricane Sandy marked a clear shift in Cuomo’s relationship to the MTA. During Hurricane Irene last year, which also led to a systemwide shut-down, then-MTA chief Jay Walder appeared at Mayor Bloomberg’s press conferences. In contrast, during this year’s hurricane response, current MTA Chair Joe Lhota has only made appearances with the governor.

Despite his recent willingness to take ownership of the MTA, Cuomo seems content to let the MTA’s in-house PR crew issue the press releases about one topic: the latest round of fare hikes.

  • The MTA is chartered by the State of New York, and this is an attempt to show how the MTA plans proactively for things – and it has really worked; in Sandy, damage to its rolling stock was limited to just two push-pull trains and one subway train, while New Jersey Transit’s rail system remains crippled because equipment was heavily damaged.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

He's the boss. Photo: Flickr/NYS Governor's Office

When the Going Gets Tough at the MTA, Andrew Cuomo Disappears

|
Remember when Andrew Cuomo announced that he'd sealed the deal on a new contract with the TWU? Or when he empaneled an "MTA Reinvention Commission" to shape the agency's five-year capital program? Or when he ordered the MTA to quit dragging its heels on cashless tolling, and the agency promptly delivered? The governor would like you to forget all that.

Someone Show Governor Cuomo This Animated Move NY Explainer

|
Not sure why you should support the Move NY toll reform plan? This animation is for you. Move NY has picked up endorsements from city and state electeds, press outlets including the Times and Daily News, and scores of public interest groups. Yet despite the enormous $15 billion gap in the MTA capital program, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who runs the authority, has […]