Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    The “Wabbit Season!” “Duck Season!” battle between Cuomo and DeBlasio over who isn’t responsible for the MTA has to be considered in light of the $5.4 billion New York City is forced to send to New York State each year for the local government share of the state’s Medicaid program. A burden no other state imposes.

    Especially now that representatives from the Rest of the State have added a provision to Trumpcare to eliminate the local share of Medicaid for the rest of the state, but keep it for New York City. A real slap in the face.

    And just one of a number of inequities. Including the fact that every locality in the state, even with wealthiest, gets municipal aid from the State of New York — except New York City.

    As for the MTA, the City of New York turned over the TBTA and its toll revenues to the agency in 1968, and was promised a “plan of action” in exchange. If East Side Access is every finished the suburbs will have gotten virtually everything they were promised, with the city getting virtually nothing other than the 63rd Street Tunnel and a subway or two.

    And as for the existing system, when the City turned over the subway in 1968 there were no signal systems older that 50 years old. As soon as the last major subway expansion was finished in the mid-1950s, the City started replacing the oldest signals starting with the original IRT signals from 1904. Now the signals on the majority of the IND is more than 75 years old.

  • Fool

    So low labor productivity is not a problem?

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s third on the list with regard to the city, and more of a problem elsewhere.

    Top of the list is generational inequity.

    As the data showed, if (adjusted for inflation) Generation Greed had paid the same fares over 20 years that people are paying now, the MTA would have collected an extra $6.7 million. If the State had maintained its operating support, another $1.5 billion would have been received. If the State and City had maintained their cash capital plan support, another $11.3 billion. That’s $20 billion less in debt. Then there is the gas tax freezes, the toll freezes, the toll removals, taxes that were lower for 20 years than they are now, the retroactively enriched pensions far in excess of what new hires are getting.

    Next is the regional inequity I highlighted in the post linked above.

    That Trumpcare deal to screw NYC on the local share of Medicaid has nearly done to my attitude toward the rest of the state what the 2008 UFT 25/55 pension deal and the 2005 TWU strike for a 20/50 pension in 2005 did to my attitude toward NYC’s public employee unions.

    Yes productivity should be improved. But if you think that will be enough to offset decades of ripoffs, you are wrong.

    They’ve robbed us. And will keep robbing us until everyone understands it. Unless those debts and pensions aren’t fully paid — defaulted on or inflated away — everyone living here (in the U.S. actually) for the next 30 years is going to be worse and worse off.

  • Kevin Love

    Should the “6.7 million” be “6.7 billion”?

    A billion here, a billion there… it soon adds up to real money.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Yes, $billion.

  • AMH

    I’m intrigued by this: “…agents will direct passengers to get off and on trains more quickly…”

    What more exactly are they going to do? They already yell at you through the speakers; the logical next step is to physically yank door-blockers off the train, which I would love but don’t see happening.

  • sbauman

    the City started replacing the oldest signals starting with the original IRT signals from 1904.

    The Flushing Line signals received a major overhaul in the early 1950’s, even though they dated from 1916 to 1928. Some of the signal body shells were retained, so it wasn’t a complete replacement.

  • Joe R.

    They’re going to use these kind of “agents”:

    They’ll be able to physically empty a train in mere seconds!

  • Larry Littlefield

    The point is no one is going to wave a wand and make the past 35 years go away. And with today’s seniors taking the first dollar off the top — and demanding more tax cuts on top of it — where is the money going to come from? Especially if no one is willing to talk about how much they have taken already.

    So what we get is a huge political fight — to shift the blame to someone else. Not to impose the long years of sacrifice needed to turn things around. It’s disgusting but it is consistent with the values we have seen for decades.

    Here is a three-point plan.

    Ride bicycles. Too far for the entire trip? At least it can get you to the subway line that is still running at any given time.

    Throw out all the incumbent politicians.

    And appoint a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to force Generation Greed to face the reality of what its actions have done to those coming after.

  • Vooch

    Choice 1 – NYCexit

    Choice 2 – Privatize

  • Kevin Love

    Actually, I believe that they will use these kinds of agents. Very effective in Japan.

  • Joe R.

    And I thought crowding was bad on the IRT!

    When I see stuff like this I wonder if it would make more sense to give employers incentives to stagger work hours.

  • AnoNYC

    I would love that. Have people start and finish their days at different times. Would likely boost economic activity across the day.

  • AnoNYC
  • Larry Littlefield

    Look out, that looks like a link to malware!

  • AnoNYC

    Amp is just for high speed web page loading.

  • Andrew

    Presumably an expansion of this program:

  • AMH

    The IRT was lobbying employers to stagger hours back in the early 1900s. I think the London Underground did the same. The old ads must be online somewhere, but I can’t find them at the moment.