SUBSTANDARD

SUBSTANDARD

“Rather than meet growing need, service has fallen apart. Subway delays nearly quadrupled from 20,000 per month in 2012 to 76,000 in January. Riders lost an average of 35,000 hours to delays each weekday morning. And that’s just riders able to board trains—most subway stations are inaccessible to people with physical disabilities [more than three-quarters of subway stations lack elevators and even those elevators break down too frequently]. Meanwhile, buses are slower than ever, providing worse service than in any other big US city, and rapidly losing ridership.”
“The decades-long deterioration of our subways exerts an economic toll on our city every single day, draining the city of up to $400 million dollars in lost productivity and wages per year. It also exerts a painful human toll, causing residents to miss doctor’s appointments and job interviews, to miss out on child care options, and to lose wages or even their jobs.”
If you had to guess, what city do the above quotes describe? Detroit? Baltimore?
Here are a few hints: Greatest metropolis on Earth; Capital of…Everything; the Center of the Universe; A Number 1; King of Hill.
Allegedly.
No self-respecting big city can characterize itself as the best of anything when its substandard subway and bus system has become the bane of the very public it’s supposed to serve.
However, according to a coalition of the city’s leading transportation advocacy groups, there is a faint glimmer of hope at the end of this darkened train tunnel.
In May, Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit President Andy Byford unveiled his extensive plan to revolutionize every major aspect of the organization and its services, from subways to buses to accessibility to corporate culture.
Dubbed “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit,” the 75-page blueprint focuses on four major priorities, according to Byford: transforming the subway, reimagining the city’s public bus network, improving accessibility for all modes, and engaging and empowering NYC Transit’s workforce to deliver the best service possible.
Additionally, earlier this year, the state Fix NYC Advisory Panel released its highly anticipated report that endorses a congestion-pricing plan to relax traffic bottlenecks on Midtown Manhattan streets and help subsidize the MTA’s overhaul of the antiquated subway system.
“While elected leaders haven’t yet made the investments or passed the laws to get transit up to speed and accessible to everyone, we have in Fast Forward and Fix NYC a plan to fix the system and a way to fund implementation. Now we need the attention and will of the governor and legislature to make it happen,” the coalition wrote in the introduction to its must-read “Transportation and Equity: A Vision for New York State Leadership in 2018,” a four-page budgetary, legislative, and policy agenda. “Transit is New York’s lifeblood. The region’s economy and tax base are founded on it. For millions of households, transit is the only way to get around. As housing costs rise, New Yorkers must spread out to find affordable homes and rely on transit to stay connected. Equity demands that state leaders prioritize transit in the public budget and policy-making process.”
Prioritize transit? We can’t even get Albany to keep school-zone speed cameras—devices that are actually saving lives—on in the five boroughs.
Maybe if we follow the coalition’s lead and hold perspective state office candidates to making transportation their main concern.
Until then, we’ll be more like top of the bottom than top of the heap.
“Rather than meet growing need, service has fallen apart. Subway delays nearly quadrupled from 20,000 per month in 2012 to 76,000 in January. Riders lost an average of 35,000 hours to delays each weekday morning. And that’s just riders able to board trains—most subway stations are inaccessible to people with physical disabilities [more than three-quarters of subway stations lack elevators and even those elevators break down too frequently]. Meanwhile, buses are slower than ever, providing worse service than in any other big US city, and rapidly losing ridership.”
“The decades-long deterioration of our subways exerts an economic toll on our city every single day, draining the city of up to $400 million dollars in lost productivity and wages per year. It also exerts a painful human toll, causing residents to miss doctor’s appointments and job interviews, to miss out on child care options, and to lose wages or even their jobs.”
If you had to guess, what city do the above quotes describe? Detroit? Baltimore?
Here are a few hints: Greatest metropolis on Earth; Capital of…Everything; the Center of the Universe; A Number 1; King of Hill.
Allegedly.
No self-respecting big city can characterize itself as the best of anything when its substandard subway and bus system has become the bane of the very public it’s supposed to serve.
However, according to a coalition of the city’s leading transportation advocacy groups, there is a faint glimmer of hope at the end of this darkened train tunnel.
In May, Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit President Andy Byford unveiled his extensive plan to revolutionize every major aspect of the organization and its services, from subways to buses to accessibility to corporate culture.
Dubbed “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit,” the 75-page blueprint focuses on four major priorities, according to Byford: transforming the subway, reimagining the city’s public bus network, improving accessibility for all modes, and engaging and empowering NYC Transit’s workforce to deliver the best service possible.
Additionally, earlier this year, the state Fix NYC Advisory Panel released its highly anticipated report that endorses a congestion-pricing plan to relax traffic bottlenecks on Midtown Manhattan streets and help subsidize the MTA’s overhaul of the antiquated subway system.
“While elected leaders haven’t yet made the investments or passed the laws to get transit up to speed and accessible to everyone, we have in Fast Forward and Fix NYC a plan to fix the system and a way to fund implementation. Now we need the attention and will of the governor and legislature to make it happen,” the coalition wrote in the introduction to its must-read “Transportation and Equity: A Vision for New York State Leadership in 2018,” a four-page budgetary, legislative, and policy agenda. “Transit is New York’s lifeblood. The region’s economy and tax base are founded on it. For millions of households, transit is the only way to get around. As housing costs rise, New Yorkers must spread out to find affordable homes and rely on transit to stay connected. Equity demands that state leaders prioritize transit in the public budget and policy-making process.”
Prioritize transit? We can’t even get Albany to keep school-zone speed cameras—devices that are actually saving lives—on in the five boroughs.
Maybe if we follow the coalition’s lead and hold perspective state office candidates to making transportation their main concern.
Until then, we’ll be more like top of the bottom than top of the heap.

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