Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the private sector to help foot the bill to fix the subway in New York City. From New York Daily News:

“We have to change our attitude. This is our MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority], right? This is our transit system,” Cuomo told members of the Association for a Better New York as he stood beneath a jumbo screen that flashed the words “We must change our attitude: OUR MTA.”

“There has to be an air of civic engagement and participation, investment in this system.”

Cuomo’s position has changed dramatically in the past week. He first said that fixing the subway remained “the city’s legal obligation,” but admitted that the state would help out “because it’s the right thing to do ‘on a moral level.'”

But I guess New York City and the state of New York has squandered too much tax money because Cuomo has offered the private sector to join a “partnership council” for the small price of $250,000. From Reuters:

He said firms including BlackRock, Estee Lauder and Blackstone already agreed to contribute the funds, and that companies could “adopt a station” to help fund cleaning, art or even wireless internet service for additional contributions up to $600,000.

Such an approach could open the door to subway stations branded with corporate names.

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota introduced an $836 million plan to fix the aging subway. This plan includes “adding cars on trains to ease overcrowding, removing seats from some cars to increase capacity and prioritizing door maintenance.”

Cuomo also stated that “he wants to put more responsibility on the NYPD and Con Ed to keep subways running smoothly.” This means more police and less littering:

Cuomo also chided the NYPD for failing to bust subway litterbugs, whose trash ends up on the tracks, causing fires. Only 79 summonses were issued for littering, NYPD Assistant Transit Bureau Chief Vince Coogan told the MTA this week. Coogan said at the MTA meeting he’d send the message that transit police should be more aggressive in ticketing for littering.

“Littering — ‘well that’s just a nuisance.’ No, littering starts fires on the track and it is dangerous,” Cuomo told the breakfast crowd on Thursday.

“And we need the NYPD to step up and do that role.”

He also pushed Con Ed “to hook up an emergency generator within 30 minutes to power up any city station in the event of an emergency” and to install “sensors on its equipment to get early warnings about a potential loss of power.”

Cuomo promised the state can provide 50% of the bill. But he also wants the federal government to chip in for a project that includes “a new tunnel under the Hudson River to Penn Station,” which will cost $30 billion.


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