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
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…