Cuomo Drives Old-Timey Car Across Brand New Bridge While Sticking NYers With Old-Timey Transit System

The governor celebrates his transportation infrastructure achievement by driving FDR's old car over the new Kosciuzsko Bridge. Imagery: @NYGovCuomo
The governor celebrates his transportation infrastructure achievement by driving FDR's old car over the new Kosciuzsko Bridge. Imagery: @NYGovCuomo

In case you missed it, Andrew Cuomo spent Thursday reveling in the glory that is the new Kosciuszko Bridge.

The governor’s Twitter feed was wall-to-wall Kosciuszko beginning Wednesday night, ahead of a light and music show — another Cuomo production — broadcast live online when the bridge officially opened to traffic not long before midnight yesterday.

The coup de grace of the daytime festivities: Cuomo motoring across the bridge, alone, in a 1932 Packard once owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt. As it happens, FDR’s car is the same vintage as many components in the signal system of the New York City subway.

The difference is that the signal system isn’t a museum piece that Cuomo can commandeer for a day — it’s real equipment that keeps millions of people moving on a 24/7 rail system. Equipment made from parts that ceased to be manufactured long ago, which the MTA now refurbishes in-house. Equipment that leads to a staggering number of subway delays. Equipment that was superseded by modern technology decades ago.

The MTA awarded the first contract to upgrade the signal system in 1999. The potential to improve the capacity and reliability of the subways is huge, but today only one subway line has modern signals. What has Cuomo done to accelerate the replacement of this key system?

At a time when severe transit delays have become an everyday fact of life for New Yorkers — with multiple incidents in the past week alone — we can’t think of a more suitable image of Cuomo’s tenure as MTA boss than the video below: a remix of Cuomo’s ride from Andrew Simone.

Be sure to turn up the sound to get the full effect, and to muffle your sobs.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Unfortunately, recently-installed signals seem to fail frequently as well.

    Getting out of this is probably going to require a completely new system installed from scratch, all based on electronics.

    But as it is we’re generally still stuck with old time signals in addition to electronic signals. So Railworks will have something expensive to install and the TWU will have something expensive to maintain.

  • Vooch

    how much will the toll be on the new K bridge for cars ?

    what will be the difference between a rush hour & other time toll ?

  • c2check

    He better be watching out for the mob in that open top!

  • Motorisims
  • Joe R.

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

  • Lameist

    Governor Jackass. Mario’s son is nothing but a tax payer funded event planner

  • Andrew Lassiter

    Great article.

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

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

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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.