Quinn pitches massive overhaul of MTA

Speaker Christine Quinn delivered her transportation proposal in a speech at LaGuardia Community College on Thursday morning. Credit: William Alatriste.
Speaker Christine Quinn delivered her transportation proposal in a speech at LaGuardia Community College on Thursday morning. Credit: William Alatriste.

City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn announced a plan on Thursday for a massive overhaul of the transit system.

The plan largely calls for a greater leadership role by the city, as well as expanded ferry, Metro-North, and bus service—but not subway expansion.

“We would love to be able to expand subway service, but that’s complicated, expensive, and time-consuming,” Quinn told Metro, emphasizing the importance of concrete, realistic steps “if we are going to meet the goal that I’ve articulated of making sure that no New Yorker has a commute time of over an hour.”

Quinn aims to cut commute times to an hour or less within the next decade.

In justifying the call for city control of the MTA, Quinn pointed out that city residents and workers contribute the vast majority of MTA funding.

“We know that 90 percent of the funding that ends up going to the MTA comes from the tolls, fare, and taxes of folks that are using, one way or another, the subways and the buses in the five boroughs,” she explained. “That makes us the economic engine of the MTA.”

But, she said, the board of the MTA doesn’t reflect that.

“We’re the engine, but we’ve got the voice of a piston,” she declared.

The answer, Quinn said, is for the mayor to have the authority to appoint not only the head of the MTA, but the majority of the board as well. Equally important, she added, is giving riders a voting member on the board, not just a ceremonial member.

The other major problem she called out is the way the lives of New Yorkers have outgrown the century-old system: it is no longer the case that the majority of jobs are in the central business district, for example.

“When this system was built, the majority of New Yorkers lived in Manhattan,” she said. “Its main function was to get people to jobs in Manhattan. That’s not the reality anymore.”

Though subway expansion is too ambitious an undertaking to see progress in the next decade, Quinn proposed several ways to extend transit in the five boroughs, from expanding ferry service to creating more Metro-North stops in the Bronx and Manhattan.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…