With New York City’s Albany-run decrepit subway system failing on a near-daily basis, the MTA is looking a little closer to home for help in fixing it: City Hall.
On Thursday, new MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced that he was in the process of creating an emergency plan to submit to city officials to provide more funding to repair and maintain the aged subway system.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month declared a state of emergency for the MTA following a slate of chaos-inducing commuting issues for thousands of New Yorkers. Such a declaration allowed Albany to easier channel $1 billion in funding to the beleaguered agency.
Lhota’s announcement came after another finger-pointing episode between the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio over who is really responsible for the city’s transit system — and the fourth consecutive day of problems with the system, including Monday’s track fire that completely halted service on eight subway lines.
Lhota explained that the MTA has been operated by the state since 1981, when the city was in financial crisis and unable to afford the capital costs to run the subway system.
“The fiscal crisis is over,” he said according to The New York Times, adding that New York City now has a surplus of about $4 billion.
Lhota said that repairing and maintaining the system “should be dealt with by elected officials, they just disagree.”
To that end, a spokesman for the mayor said, “Let’s stop the diversions and obfuscation and start spending the resources the MTA has on the repairs and maintenance that will keep New Yorkers moving.”
Lhota’s plan, which was ordered by Cuomo within 30 days of Cuomo’s state of emergency declaration, is set to be completed by the end of next week, the New York Post reported.