If the coronavirus has taught us anything it is that it is possible to clean the New York City transit system thoroughly and daily but all this time they just didn’t want to. It is a darn shame that it took a pandemic for it to happen but there you go. The people in the city use the transit system and they should be the ones making the decision. Upstate doesn’t really care because they don’t have to ride it. The employees are over worked, the trains are constantly delayed, some stations are always filthy, and the homeless who are sometimes mentally ill can be dangerous. Several people have been pushed into tracks by people who probably should be on medication. But the fares are constantly going up without the service getting better. New York City transit must go back to being controlled by New York City. Apparently, we own the system and merely lease to the MTA. Gov. Cuomo mentioned if we were to cancel the lease and take the transit system back then we would lose out on 12 billion dollars from the state. Besides that sounding real petty; it also kind of sounds like an abusive boyfriend or spouse that says if you leave me you will lose all my financing and this house and you will be nothing without me so stay and continue to be my doormat and suffer through the abuse. I know because I grew up in an abusive household and that kind of talk just doesn’t sit right with me. At what point do you tell the abused person to leave everything behind, grab the children, and run? All money isn’t good money. If the state truly cared about the city transit then they wouldn’t have let it get into the state of disrepair that it has been in and they wouldn’t threaten to take away funding that they are supposed to share with the entire state functionality (including NYC). It is part of their job regardless to whether they or the city is running the transit system. Yes, some repairs have been made and yet not all of the stations are handicap accessible. If they are taking the time to shut down the stations for upgrades then they should also include these upgrades as well to all of those stations not just some. Over 4 million ride the transit system daily. Having to re-start without the state’s money wouldn’t be easy at first (change and progress rarely is) but with the right plan, guidance, and cooperation we could make it and thrive. There would need to be a complete audit of the system. We need to find the redundancies, see where we were being overcharged and cease that, make sure contracts offered are competitive and favor the system (no nepotism or shady under the table contracts to relatives or friends) while maintaining quality and ensuring the employees are taken care of and not overworked which can cause delays in the system. The system is over 100 years old and really needs a complete overhaul which would be very expensive but something needs to be done before a piece of track fall and actually hit someone in the head next time. We need to stop putting band-aids on a very old system that can’t keep up with today’s needs. I would like to do the following:
1. Put together a committee to work on a Good feasible plan for NYC to go back to managing its own transit system.
2. Raise the funding (probably with bonds and getting our fair share of taxes from real estate developers and other large corporations) to properly upgrade our transit system to make it cleaner, more reliable, and accessible to all of its residents.
3. Launch a pilot program to allow residents to take the public buses for free from Monday to Friday. This would alleviate the roads as more people may be likely to leave their cars at home making for a much greener community. This would also allow more senor citizens to explore the city without having to use funds and that money could go towards their other needs. The working poor would also save as well as the unemployed who can find a new job without spending the last of their funds. They also won’t have to worry about getting money to go to work before getting their first paycheck.
4. Get transit police retrained so that they can better serve the community they are charged with protecting.
5. Get rid of the rats!
It won’t be easy but if we work together we can have a better well-functioning system.