23 July 2017

Blamestorming Commencements

I have mentioned that Governor Andrew Cuomo's hostility to mass transit in general, and to the New York City Subway in particular, is responsible for the current sorry state of the Subway.

Now, he is trying to fob the blame off on the Mayor of New York, and Bill de Blasio is having none of it:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fired back Sunday at state and transit officials who have been trying to pin the subway’s problems on him.

“The state of New York is responsible for making sure our subways run,” Mr. de Blasio said, “period.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Joseph Lhota have spent the past several days suggesting subways are the city’s responsibility and the city should be paying more.

Mr. de Blasio begged to differ, saying the MTA has spent its money on projects unrelated to the subways at the state’s direction, and left other funds languishing.

“The state of New York has used the MTA as a piggy bank,” he said. “They need to spend the money on what matters.”

But Mr. Lhota late Sunday said the mayor’s comments were “completely disingenuous knowing that the MTA is set to present its 30-day overhaul plan this week. We know we have a problem and our job now is to fix it.”


The governor has more sway than the mayor over the MTA’s budgeting, leadership and other personnel, and Mr. Cuomo has directed the agency to fund and finish a number of his pet projects, like the Second Avenue subway.

But amid a recent rash of subway delays and derailments, and growing crowds underground, the governor has been pinning the problems on the mayor. “It’s the city’s legal obligation to be funding it,” Mr. Cuomo said last week.

The mayor office also distributed a “fact sheet” Sunday showing that the city already pays more than two-thirds of the MTA’s $15 billion operating budget through taxes, fares, and other means.

Recent polls show more New Yorkers hold the governor accountable for the MTA, but they want a bigger investment in the subways from both the state and the city.
Cuomo's attempt at deflecting the blame is really kind of pathetic.


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