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Gov. Cuomo had MTA Use $30 Million on Tile Instead of Subway Repairs

Gov. Cuomo had MTA Use $30 Million on Tile Instead of Subway Repairs

Decorative tiles are way more important that needed subway repairs, right?!

It’s no secret that New York City’s subway is a mess and needs repairs. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has no money, but that didn’t stop Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo from forcing it to use $30 million on tiles.

The New York Post reviewed documents that show the MTA “ordered white tiles to reline the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown tunnels after Superstorm Sandy.”

Okay, I can understand that. You need walls, right? Well, that wasn’t good enough for Cuomo:

The governor got wind of the plan — and insisted that the cash-strapped transit agency add stripes of blue and gold, thinking nothing of the additional $20 million to $30 million cost, according to sources and project documentation.

“The white tile had already been ordered, but he insisted that [the walls] be in the state colors,’’ a top construction executive told The Post.

I feel like I’m watching the Parks & Recreation episode where Pawnee has to absorb Eagleton due to the former’s free spending.

The MTA board is not thrilled:

The move now has some on the MTA board seeing red. “We could have found much better uses for that money — especially because most people are speeding through the tunnels and not paying attention to what is on the walls,” seethed board member Andrew Albert.

A second member added, “This is exactly the type of distraction, expense and use of the MTA by the governor as a marketing tool that is at the root of many of our problems.”

To make matters worse, the order from Cuomo in November 2016, months before New York City’s “Summer of Hell.” The need for repairs caught up to the city and the MTA had to throw out $800 million to make emergency fixes.

The New York Times reported today that one year later the subway remains dismal:

Long delays continue to upend New Yorkers’ lives. Trains are still breaking down at an aggravating pace. Signal equipment dating to the Great Depression repeatedly wreaks havoc across the system, which sprawls across 665 miles of track and 472 stations — the most stations of any subway in the world. With a daily ridership of more than 5.5 million, New York’s subway is the most heavily used rail system in the country.

The authority’s own statistics are a mixed bag: They show minor progress in some areas, but no major boost in reliability, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on repairs. The on-time rate for trains hovers near 65 percent on weekdays — about the same as a year ago and the lowest rate since the transit crisis of the 1970s, when graffiti, breakdowns and violence plagued the system.

“All I see is the construction, but I don’t see the extra improvement,” Chance Shealey said on a recent afternoon as he rode a D train through the Bronx.

New York City Patch wrote that people “faced delays on six subway lines Monday morning after two trains were halted at major transit hubs.”

For awhile now Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have passed the blame on the decrepit system on each other. In August 2017, NYC Streets Blog noted the different infrastructure projects Cuomo threw money at, but still insisted that the city and de Blasio had to to fix the system…even though one of those projects included “$200 million on choreographed light displays on MTA crossings.”

Cuomo amped up the threats against de Blasio a few weeks ago and demanded the city pay $18 billion, but officials disagreed:

City officials said the governor’s request is ridiculous.

“After failing miserably to secure a sustainable revenue source, we knew the governor would be back for more,” said de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips. “The mayor has contributed a record amount bailing out Governor Cuomo’s subway mismanagement. Rather than constantly asking for more from all our riders and taxpayers, the governor should pass a millionaire’s tax to fix the trains he’s run into the ground.”

Transit advocates skewered Cuomo’s statements, saying he’s not taking responsibility for the subway.

“Governor Cuomo controls the MTA. He also dominates the state budget process, the only legal mechanism that can raise the tens of billions of dollars it will take to fix the subway,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance. “The MTA now has a modernization plan but the governor still hasn’t put forward a funding plan for the Legislature to vote on, and riders continue to suffer through regular breakdowns and delays.”


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Not the first time that Como effed with the subway. A couple years ago he shut the whole thing down for a snowstorm. The subway was designed to continue running during snowstorms, and there were four stages of layered plans in effect for it. The trains actually kept running throughout the entire storm, but you weren’t allowed to get on. People were stranded overnight it work, people couldn’t get into work and didn’t get paid, businesses had to shut down during the day. No problem for Cuomo, he was driven around in his armoured an SUV with an escort during the storm while route were closed.
Liberal friends of mine who live in another state adore him.

Perhaps these are no ordinary tiles. They could, in fact, be “feng shui” tiles, designed to make everyone feel at peace with the crumbling infrastructure that surrounds them.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 23, 2018 at 5:36 pm

These things tell me that Cuomo would be an absolutely fantastic president. Just incredible!

/must I?

Are any of his relatives sales reps for, or owners of, tile companies?

Cuomo sure has been drenching himself in Virtue Signaling lately, sign of a guilty conscience compensating for foul play.

Hey, it’s not Cuomo’s money; why should he give a damn how profligate he is as a steward of his serfs’ money?

Cuomo is merely acting in total accordance with Dumb-o-crat norms vis-a-vis apparatchik profligacy. The Dumb-o-crat politician guards no money quite so zealously as his or her own; the citizenry’s wealth, on the other hand, is de facto the property of the State, and exists merely as a means of funding the Dumb-o-crats’ newest gilded, endlessly winding road to Leftist utopia.

Cuomo is such a greasy hustler. It’s a shame that he and Warren Wilhelm (re-branded as “de Blasio”) don’t get along, because they are total ideological bedfellows and transparently venal twits, each angling to position himself as the biggest, most shamelessly virtue-signaling radical Leftist jackboot

    Jackie in reply to guyjones. | July 24, 2018 at 7:31 am

    When you have competing hustlers out for the same score, why is it surprising they don’t like each other. The deterioration of New York under Wilhelmina and Cuomo doesn’t matter to democrat voters.

Always grateful that at least part of my time in NYC was the Giuliani years. (And, sadly, earlier.)


    Jackie in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 24, 2018 at 7:35 am

    People knock Bloomberg because of the stupid policies like the size of a bottle soda, but on most of the real issues, like crime, quality of life, corruption, he was so much better than the hustlers we have now.

Decades ago I spent 30 days on detail in NYC. I don’t recollect tiles on the walls in subway tunnels. Stations – yes. I could be mistaken (it was about 40 years ago) but tunnels I recollect were concrete where they weren’t so dark it didn’t matter what was on the walls.

    Milhouse in reply to Edward. | July 24, 2018 at 2:17 am

    Who said anything about subway tunnels? No, those are not tiled! But tunnels people go through are. Hardly anyone cares how pretty they are, though; plain white is just fine for almost everyone, so spending an extra $30M to get some several-mile-long stripes is not a prudent use of the public fisc.

Subotai Bahadur | July 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Be of calm mind. What happens in a hostile 3rd world foreign country outside America is no real worry, or at least no more worry that what happens to the ideologically similar Venezuela.


Calling him a Dumbo Kratz does not change the fact that he was elected, was reelected, and will be reelected again. It seems that when he wants to be smart about something, he is quite capable of doing that.

I have traveled all over the world for work. There are 2 places I have been that I absolutely hate to go. S. Ca and NY. NY.

Cleveland has the reputation for being the arm pit of America, I lived there for 2 years and as bad as Cleveland is, S. Ca and NY. NY. are much worse. I would move back to Cleveland much easier than I would move to S. Ca and NY. NY.

Still trying to track down that quote. Something close to:

“The more your local officials talk about things like Climate Change, the less you can expect in basic services”

Throw a dog a bone?

Well, being the wanna-be commies they are in the NY government, they’re trying to appropriate the Moscow Metro, which is quite beautiful. (However, if you act the fool down there, off to the gulag you go (versus a Maxine Waters rally.)

Subway crime up due to repeat offenders, NYPD says:

Well, as the rot and decay progresses, at least the tiles (if cleaned) would stand the test of time. Think Roman mosaics. Every science fiction story of decayed NYC has only the tiles left to tell the tale.

There are a lot of public places that have used wall tiles which has to be much more expensive than painted or colored Hardie board.

They even have tile on many airport floors which causes a tremendous racket with wheeled luggage.

Christopher B | July 23, 2018 at 9:56 pm

@Fen .. I see that quote on the Instant Prof’s blog fairly often. Not sure if it’s his or something he picked up. I think it might have originated with NYC Mayor Blomberg.

Christopher B | July 23, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Think I found it.

In 2011, Victor Davis Hanson warned of “The Bloomberg Syndrome:” “Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.”

    Yes that’s it. Thank you!

    I kept going from memory and mangling it. And I had forgotten who to attrib it to for credit. Much appreciated. Google search is broken lately or I wouldn’t have imposed.

Who the &%$! cares if money is being ripped off, homeless are pissing and sh*tting on the streets, and crime runs rampant?

The fact is that Comrade DeBlasio, Glorious Great Leader in waiting, has his priorities straight – “women” with penises are allowed to use the Ladies’ Room.

Albigensian | July 24, 2018 at 9:48 am

Really, it’s hopeless. It’s just not possible to build anything anymore. Let alone restore an existing system to operating speeds that were possible a century ago.

The entire original IRT subway in New York was built in four years, from 1900 to 1904. And not just the tunnels and the tracks, but an electric generating station to power it, electric distribution system, signalling system, acquisition of the trains- everything.

More recently, New Yorkers voted for a bond issue to fund the Second Avenue Subway in 2005 and, a dozen+ years later two miles of it, including three stations, have been completed. And not even to the standards of 1904, as this new subway is only a two-track line, whereas most of the original was four-track, with separate tracks for local and express trains.

So now we’ve got tunnelling machines, computerized control systems, LED lighting. But we can no longer actually build anything, let alone restore an increasingly ancient system to the performance it once had.

So, why not blow a few $million on decorative tiles? At least we can still make them. Although somehow I’d not be surprised to see them dropping off the walls, or cracking, or otherwise failing

Shortly we’ll look back on the works of the 20th century like medeivals gazing at Roman ruins, and wonder how it was once possible to build such things.

“millionaire’s tax”

If this is in New York city, then I am willing to bet that his removing the Confederate flags. Many people are unware than the tiles in the subway have references to prominent people who had businesses at these stops. I believe it was the editor of the Times that was a big supporter of the CSA and so the stop there had CSA flags on the tiles.

    Milhouse in reply to david7134. | July 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I am willing to bet that his removing the Confederate flags.

    That’s not a sentence. Did you even bother reading the article before commenting? This is about adding $30M to the cost of tiling two tunnels that have nothing to do with the subway system, by adding some stripes in the state’s colors. How could you possibly think it has anything to do with the removal of a few patches of tiles from one subway station, because of some accidental resemblance to the Confederate flag?

Darwin Akbar | July 24, 2018 at 10:58 pm

Who chose that pungent urine-scented disinfectant that is used to clean the subways every morning?