Amid a series of ongoing transit troubles from track fires to delays and service shutdowns, tensions between the mayor and the governor are heating up. De Blasio boarded an F train in Brooklyn Sunday morning and criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent comments that the city might be financially responsible for the MTA.
“The governor should step up and say once again [that] he’s responsible, because he seems to change that message every week or two, whether he’s responsible or not,” de Blasio said. “He’s responsible! It’s clear! Just take ownership and fix the problem.”
The mayor also called upon MTA Chairman Joe Lhota to take the blame for the city’s failing subways and promised that no more funds would be given to the agency. De Blasio stated that a mere tenth of a $2.5 billion allocation from the city to the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan has been spent, claiming that the agency has been used “as a piggy bank.”
Lhota told the Post de Blasio’s comments were “disingenuous” and added “what we need is leadership, not photo ops.”
Meanwhile, the Post claimed that the mayor had the subway stations cleared of homeless people to make way for his entry, with anonymous sources saying police were told to “make sure nobody’s hanging out” and that the stations “looked nice.” (“The story isn’t true,” a de Blasio spokesman responded to that claim.)
While straphangers may have been spared the city’s usual view of derelicts, they were instead subjected to the theater of local politics as the subways remain a growing source of tension for both commuters and government officials.