Thursday’s Headlines: Light One Candle Edition

It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do these kinds of important stories. So please click here.
It’s our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click here.

In a bid to dispel the fiscal gloom coming out of Washington, a consortium of advocacy groups last night held an online “Candle Light Ceremony for Transit and a Prosperous 2021” in order to highlight (or maybe it was soft light) the need for federal funding to rescue our subway and buses.

The Zoom ceremony, sponsored by Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives, garnered its share of luminaries: Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader, used the call to make clear that he is fighting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell because “we will die without transit.” The vice president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, Eric Loegel, spoke passionately about his 40,000 members — working class men and women toiling in obscurity during the pandemic to keep our city moving and get our health-care workers to their jobs. They’ve “made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

We can only hope for a happier new year. But, as if to answer the prayers of those convened at the “Candle Light Ceremony,” sources said there might be $15 billion for the MTA in the relief bill now being negotiated in the capital (NYDN).

In other news yesterday:

  • A school bus driver and a van driver crashed in Williamsburg, injuring six. (NYPost)
  • The rezoning of the Flushing waterfront will go ahead, after the developers of a massive project there promised more affordable housing and other concessions. (Gothamist)
  • Pedestrian fun: A new plaza is emerging to connect DUMBO with the piers of Brooklyn Bridge Park. (amNY)
  • In the Boogie Down, they are preparing to drink up in honor of a “Year Gone Hazy.” (amNY)
  • Bored with COVID, half-naked New Yorkers have taken to performing stupid subway tricks. (NY Post)
  • You may be contemplating Christmas, but it’s Divestivus for the rest of us, according to the state controller, who’s slowly jettisoning fossil-fuel stocks. (Gothamist, CityandState)
  • Gotham Gazette takes a gander at NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea’s rocky first year.
  • Virginia gets to widen I-95 and do a toll project without environment review, but we can’t put tolls on 59th Street without President Trump telling us “no”? (Via Twitter)
  • We left out our honor roll of donors yesterday — those heroic readers who clicked the yellow icon on the top of this page and donated to keep our lights on (and our advocacy fierce) for another year. So without further ado: Thank you, John! Thank you, Ross! Thank you, Steve! Thank you, Timothy! Thank you, Andrew!


Two “New Yorkers” Debated in Brooklyn and Transit Barely Got a Mention

Remember that time two Democratic presidential candidates had a nationally-televised debate in New York City and barely said anything about transit? This week Bernie Sanders was endorsed by the Transport Workers Union and the Amalgamated Transit Union. Hillary Clinton, speaking in Manhattan, called transportation — referring to transit specifically — a “civil rights issue.” So you’d […]

To Stay Connected to Jobs, New Yorkers Need Better Bus Service

Over the last decades, the economic geography of New York City has begun to shift. While Midtown and Lower Manhattan remain job centers without peer, more and more of the city’s jobs are located outside of the central business districts. As employment shifts into the other boroughs, however, the transit system hasn’t shifted with it. […]