New Yorkers come in many shapes and sizes but there’s one thing they — other than the rich shit heads riding around in limousines — have in common: a fierce hatred of the city’s subway system. If you ever spend a day in the city you’ll understand quickly because good luck getting from point A to point B within any reasonable amount of time.
The worst is during New York’s oppressive summers. You get to the subway station dripping in sweat and then melt in the underground heat while waiting endlessly on the platform. Winter sucks too, especially freezing to death in the above ground stations.
According to recent studies, total hours New Yorkers spend waiting for the subway has increased by 45 percent in the past five years and reached 34,900 hours. The city’s Independent Budget Office estimates the current cost of this lost work time at $864,000 a day. Meanwhile, the unlimited monthly MetroCard became 16.3 percent more expensive and its price increased to $121 during the same five years.
These negative trends arose or accelerated after current Mayor Bill “I Love the Poor and Downtrodden” De Blasio took office in 2014. And it’s exactly why GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis hammers him him on the campaign trail, with one refers of her videos calling riding the subway “a nightmare.”
De Blasio was quick to respond. In contrast to Malliotakis who recorded her video in front of a green screen, the current mayor made it to a real subway station, accompanied Senator Bernie Sanders, who is remarkably popular and has endorsed de Blasio. (Unlike clueless, befuddled Hillary Clinton, Sanders was able to swipe his metro card successfully.)
But not everything went smoothly at the campaign stop. De Blasio and Sanders had to wait longer than expected due to — surprise — an earlier incident. Later Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) authorities claimed de Blasio’s pledge at the press conference to introduce cheap new MetroCards and cut train delays caused another subway delay that same day.
Mayoral statements attract a lot of media attention. In theory, introducing half-price MetroCards could help de Blasio attract support from the people who live below the federal poverty line that he so shamelessly panders to. Many of these New Yorkers are women and minorities. De Blasio promised to fund cheaper fare cards by introducing a new tax on city residents who make more than $500,000 a year.
At first glance, the the mayor’s proposal sounds like a good re-election strategy. What, after all, are 32,000 votes of wealthier New Yorkers, few undoubtedly who ride the subway, versus 800,000 votes of the poor?
But it’s worth pointing out that the mayor is actually not in charge of the NYC subway system. The MTA is a state-operated organization and it is controlled by the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo. (A notorious pro-Hillary hack, incidentally, and son of Democratic Party Super Hack Emeritus Mario Cuomo.) Andrew Cuomo is responsible for its funding and appointing six out of 14 the MTA board members.
After a series of horrifying subway incidents, accidents and derailments this past summer, Cuomo declared that the New York City subway was in the state of emergency. He also ordered the newly appointed chairman of the MTA — Joseph Lhota, who ran for mayor against de Blasio in 2013 — to come up with the bailout package.
(By the way, check out the image below. It’s from an article published in New York last June, entitled “Facebook and Twitter Scenes From a Hellish Ride on a Stalled F Train Without Lights or Air-Conditioning.” It will give you an idea what a pleasure it is to ride on New York’s subway system.)
Lhota proposed measures whose total cost was estimated at more than $800 million. Since all of the new expenses would come out of the state budget, Lhota asked de Blasio for help financing the emergency plan.
But de Blasio says he wants all the money for his plan to come from city taxes, including $250 million for the half-price MetroCards he’s using to win votes from his poor, long-suffering base. Cuomo’s spokeswoman, Dani Lever, has announced such a bill will never pass in Albany, which means that all the subway promises we are hearing during the election campaign won’t amount to much of anything no matter who wins the mayoral election this Tuesday.