He may be the mayor of New York City, but Bill de Blasio traded in his trusty black SUV to take mass transit like a normal, everyday New Yorker on Wednesday.
The mayor was spotted on an uptown C train — one of the older Cs with the yellow-ish walls and gray bench seats, if inquiring minds want to know — by Nick Corasaniti, a reporter from The New York Times.
Though Corasaniti said there were a bunch of available seats, de Blasio chose to stand. Accompanied by a staff member and small security team, the mayor was en route to the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side, a spokesman told the Times.
According to the mayor’s office, yesterday was de Blasio’s first subway ride since April 19.
The mayor has come under fire in recent weeks for relying on a fleet of sport utility vehicles to get around town, including his controversial 11-mile daily trek from Gracie Mansion to his gym of choice, the YMCA in Park Slope. Prior to taking office in 2014, de Blasio and his family were longtime residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood.
Earlier this month, when asked by a caller on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show why he relies on SUVs over mass transit or a bicycle “so you will know how we are suffering under a transit system,” de Blasio said he wasn’t going to “take the bait” and was “proud” his SUV was a hybrid that is “very fuel efficient.”
So why was the mayor breaking his mold to schlep on the subway like a commoner yesterday?
He said it was the “easiest way to get where I’m going,” according to a tweet from Corasaniti.
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) June 14, 2017
Perhaps on his particular trip it was, but the city’s subway system has been plagued with issues in recent weeks, from mass delays to mechanical problems, including one that left F train riders stuck underground in high heat and darkness for nearly an hour.
Coincidentally — or maybe not? — de Blasio took the C on the same day former city councilman and fellow candidate for this fall’s mayoral election Sal Albanese held a news conference outside that Park Slope YMCA to urge the mayor to use public transportation, the Times reported.
New Yorkers, naturally, had some things to say about the mayor’s underground jaunt.
OH REALLY? IS THIS YOUR FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE C BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU A FEW THINGS MR MAYOR
— Lizzie O’Leary (@lizzieohreally) June 14, 2017
Feeling the heat, is he?
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) June 14, 2017
I take this to mean that he’s attending an event where it would be beneficial to have subway photo-op evidence on hand.
— Militant Pedestrian (@transbay) June 14, 2017
now he he has to try to take that same subway on a weekend and lets see how long it takes him to get where he’s going
— Sara Ivry (@saraivry) June 14, 2017