Friday’s Headlines: OMNY is Here Edition

Photo: David Meyer
Photo: David Meyer

The MTA’s new fare card — the no-card, virtual wallet system called OMNY — will launch in 16 stations today, and naturally Gothamist is reporting that your data will be up for grabs (news flash: it already is!). We’ll be at the official photo-op at Bowling Green to ask Andy Byford if every time we swipe into the subway system at the Bowery station we’ll get targeted Google ads for cleaning products (at least that would make sense!). Frankly, the bigger concern, as Guse at the Newsuh pointed out, is that OMNY isn’t taking monthly passes right now.

In any event, here’s the news:

  • Like Streetsblog, other media pointed out the questionable viability of the mayor’s BQX streetcar. (the NYDN played it straight, while the NY Post pointed out that the trolley needs free transfers to the MTA-run subway, which is not guaranteed. Gothamist offered a rare chronological TLDR. And amNY focused on the points made by critics.) Hat tip to Dan Rivoli’s literature-evoking tabloid lede on the NY1 print version.
  • The DOT is ready to extend bike lanes on Columbus and Amsterdam avenues further south — and has devised a new plan for cycling through Columbus Circle. (Patch)
  • We’ll never understand why some people in the media reflexively defend the rights of drivers to low- or no-cost parking of their private vehicles in public space. Today’s edition: The City (of all places). Come on, guys. Next time, don’t bury the most important point in the last paragraph.
  • The subway brake puller was indicted on many charges — like, this wasn’t a one-time thing. (NY Post)
  • Must read: NY Magazine’s Josh Barro did a deep dive on why subway improvements cost so damn much.
  • And in case you missed it, Streetsblog reported on a hole in the Times’s long expose on the taxi industry that put Uber and Lyft on the hook a bit more.

One last thing: Mayor de Blasio will head to South Carolina tonight. Wonder why.

  • NYCBK123

    Ok what’s the deal with this “Newsuh” thing?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Barro should look at some other public and publicly funded spending in NYC. He’ll find that what is happening with MTA construction is far from unique.

    NYC school spending has soared to heights that would have been unimaginable to me 25 or 30 years ago, and yet “education advocates” say we deserve nothing because the schools are cheated out of $billions. We have nearly 3 times as many police officers relative to the U.S. average as any other place, and yet they say they can’t protect people from getting run over unless they get more. Dept. of Sanitation staffing is similarly high.

    Basically, it’s the executive/financial class, the political/union class, and the serfs. When Wall Street is booming, the executive/financial class is pillaging, and tax revenues are rolling in, the political/union class takes more for itself, locks it in, and claims it “costs nothing.” And also hands out tax breaks to the executive/financial class. Then when the economy and tax revenues take a downturn, they stick it to the serfs due to “circumstances beyond our control.”

    So cycle by cycle, the serfs — who are becoming worse off cycle by cycle in the economy — and made worse off in government too.

    Barro also neglected to mention the hole in the construction union pension funds, due to pension increases that provided far more than they were promised mostly to workers who are already retired (and some dead), and how the real estate industry, the unions and politicians conspire the make the rest of us pay for it. That’s why the bids for union construction are inflated. It isn’t as much the cost of the people on the job. It is, once again, the cost of Generation Greed.

    https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/an-open-secret-mta-capital-costs-have-soared-to-pay-for-underfunded-metro-new-york-construction-union-pensions/

    There was a fight in the legislature to require union construction on even more projects, private projects with tax breaks. What was it about? Something the aren’t going to talk about.

  • AMH

    “The DOT … has devised a new plan for cycling through Columbus Circle.”

    Talk about giving us false hope–there is no new plan here. The article trots out the same terrible idea to make cyclists navigate a non-intuitive, inconvenient, circuitous route in order to maintain the same number of lanes and signal timing for cars.

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Tuesday’s Headlines: State Pols Crack Down on de Blasio Edition

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Many outlets — including Streetsblog! — covered the legislature's expected passage of a bill legalizing e-bikes, which have long been the bane of self-styled progressive Bill de Blasio. Looks like Hizzoner will have to find a new target than poor delivery workers. Click on the headline for that story, plus a look at a gross $350,000 car (pictured).