Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, the real fare has been falling below inflation — and way below MTA labor costs including pensions. It is one of the several reasons our future has been compromised.

    Read the news article, and read what Ravitch did in the early 1980s. That’s what I would do. Go ahead and raise the fare a fair amount first, and then threaten armageddon if $2.5 billion per year (plus more for the roads) didn’t show up. Today’s pols, however, are smart enough not to appoint people like Ravitch to important positions.

    BTW, did you see that the Flushing Line extension is being cut back because it is $450 million for a station? No one asked the question how one station could possibly cost that much. That’s another big problem. Let’s assume those doing all the work on the job, including making the materials, earn $100 per hour on average, including benefits. Then you are talking 21,500 man-years to build that station. At $50 per hour, you are talking 43,000 man-years. Make sense?

  • Steve

    “Driver Plows”: Even when “charges are pending” against driver, the press declares the acceleration “accidental.”

    Moynihan Station: At the risk of sounding facetious, will they finally be installing bike parking?

  • Larry Littlefield

    OK, so maybe it’s 2,100 and 4,200 man-years. Still too much.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    On the topic of the MTA fare hike, the question is not how much a subway ride is subsidized, but how much it’s subsidized relative to other modes of transportation. The subsidies for the subway, train and bus have been shrinking relative to the subsidies for driving, especially in New Jersey.

    I’m glad to see the Assembly leaders moving to bring MTA subsidies back to their pre-Pataki levels, but where are they going to get the money from? Are they going to cut services or increase taxes? Congestion pricing would help, of course (especially the K&K plan).

  • nobody

    re: Penn Station – I can’t believe this is happening. We are really undoing the terrible damage we did over 40 years ago.

    Unfortunately, we continue to make the same mistake in smaller ways all around the City, destroying functional, good-looking buildings with human-unfriendly glass and steel monstrosities that only feed the egos of starchitects and their masturbatory fantasies.

  • ddartley

    Superblocks: most of the ones that I know are depressingly devoid of any community life. In fact, even when thousands of people live in them, they often appear as if they’re abandoned, cause there’s no on there, on the vast, cleverly designed grounds.

    But last time I made such a remark about them here, some shmuck accused me of wanting to give more space to cars.

    No, the problem is that these monstrosities SCREW PEDESTRIANS. One in particular is especially bad–the one at Kips Bay–because it’s FENCED OFF. The nerve of that makes me furious.

    Many of the peds around there are visitors/patients/employees of the huge, busy NYU Medical Center. So they all have to walk a damn quarter of a mile out of their way to do any errand–and the already distant subway is made that much more inconvenient. And the hospital is much more of a taxi/car magnet than it has to be.

  • lee

    the nyu buildings are a great example of a terrible super block. the entire length of bleecker between mercer and laguardia is barren.

  • Steve


    There’s another one at 5th and 98th by Mount Sinai. There’s a courtyard with a cool-looking monumental sculpture inside that I’ve walked past 1’00s of times with my kids as we hike the extra 1/4 mile b/c the Mt. Sinai superblock perimeter is fenced in.

  • ddartley

    Lee–don’t forget the huge stretch of Houston Street that’s got nothing but a fence!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Well Angus, they could get some of the money from the 5 billion $ city budget surplus. Or they could lever the fare increase (like the Fed $s) to force the otherwise good policy congestion pricing.

    And Larry is 2163 man years really that much at $100/hr? Some of the materials and engineering will be very expensive as well, especially since it will have to last a century. This will all be the work of the “private sector” and that is not even factoring in the “consultants”.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Sounds good, Niccolo! How do we put pressure on the city to chip in for this? I remember not too long ago when Bloomberg was trying to cut of city subsidies to the formerly “private” bus lines.