Cuomo’s Cowardice Won’t Fix the MTA

By denying responsibility for his transit system, the governor is perpetuating a charade that has real consequences for New Yorkers.

Governor Cuomo, seen in this file photo, slammed Senate Republicans in a press conference on the day that New York City's speed cameras are set to go dark. Photo: Governor’s Office/Flickr
Governor Cuomo, seen in this file photo, slammed Senate Republicans in a press conference on the day that New York City's speed cameras are set to go dark. Photo: Governor’s Office/Flickr

Yesterday, when speaking to the media about appointing Joe Lhota as CEO of the MTA, Governor Cuomo — again — denied that he runs the MTA.

“Who’s in charge?” Cuomo asked reporters. “Who knows.”

Cuomo also pointed the finger at Mayor de Blasio, insisting — again — that the city doesn’t pay enough to keep trains and buses running.

The governor of New York pretending that he does not control the MTA is troubling and bizarre. The transit system is, of course, the lifeblood of the city, and therefore state, economy. Subway service is so terrible right now that straphangers are literally risking their lives just to get to work.

And Cuomo, the one person who has the power to fix things, is acting out a charade that’s not fooling anyone.

The press corps was having none of it.

Cuomo can keep denying that the MTA is his responsibility, but that won’t make it so, and New Yorkers will continue to suffer the consequences.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The governor of New York pretending that he does not control the MTA is troubling and bizarre.”

    So why is he doing it? Because he knows the die is cast. You can’t undo 25 years of debt, the cost of the 2000 pension increase, and perhaps approaching a decade of reduced maintenance by waving a magic wand.

    It’s all about avoiding blame now. And riding bicycles.

    Rather than blaming each other, Cuomo and DeBlasio would do well to fess up about what was done by their predecessors and the legislature, and not reversed by themselves. But the perspective is that the real mass transit issue is the possible impact on the political careers of people who don’t use mass transit.

  • Maggie

    I think for everyone who’s worked hard in life without having been born rich, everyone who strived to get where they are without having famous coattails to coast along on, that is, everyone who’s actually had to take some responsibility in their life, Cuomo’s evasive pass-the-buck style is so hard to take. It’s so offensive.

    Like Streetsblog said, Cuomo controls the MTA. He’s been governor for seven years. Hopefully he quits robbing the MTA of promised and needed funding and gets responsible about maintaining and broadening the critical NYC subway, along with other efficient, low-emissions public transit.

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