Mayor De Blasio criticized the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) for not making proper use of the “huge amount of money sitting there, including the money the city gave. We gave them $2.5 billion a couple of years ago.”
“Here’s the truth: They’re not even spending their capital budget. There’s a huge amount of money sitting there, including the money the city gave. We gave them $2.5 billion a couple of years ago. Almost 90 percent of that money is just sitting there,” de Blasio said. “The governor and Chairman Lhota simply need to get in front of everyone [and] say, ‘We’re fully responsible, we have to fix the problem.’ They have the resources.”
He then went on to bash his fellow Democrat and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with the MTA Chairman Joe Lhota by stating that they are not putting enough efforts to improve the living standards of New York and improving the crumbing MTA subway system.
However, Lhota had something of his own to say as well. Lhota argued that, although the MTA was promised a $2.5 billion budget, De Blasio is incorrect in saying that the MTA is not able to make improvements despite the fact that they have billions in funding. “The mayor yesterday said, ….he’s given us $2.5 billion and we should spend it. He’s given a commitment of $2.5 [billion]. It’s a lot of work to present them with the bill and they have to approve it.”
He argued that the mayor should have highlighted the efforts the MTA is making to improve the system by working on a new implementation plan, instead of publicly humiliating the MTA.
“What we need is leadership, not photo ops,” Lhota told stated, as per the New York Times. “The mayor’s comments today were completely disingenuous, knowing that the MTA is set to present its 30-day overhaul plan this week,” he added.
And that, “The mayor has continually taken the position that the New York City subway system is not his problem . . . The city is wholly responsible for the capital plan and has only contributed one-third of what the state contributed.”
De Blasio was noted riding the NYC’s crumbing subway system, this Sunday. Although, unlike hundreds of New Yorkers that ride the subway on the daily, De Blasio didn’t have to encounter half naked and unhygienic homeless people during his train ride – the NYPD was used by the Mayor to clear the stations of any homeless people, so that the mayor could have a “nice” experience riding the subway.
It’s too bad he’s only interested when he’s going to get on the subway,” a source mentioned to the New York Post. “I wish he had the same attention to detail when he wasn’t on the subway. Too bad he doesn’t care about quality of life for all passengers and not just himself.”
De Blasio stated he doesn’t “have faith in their current plans” of the MTA, and that “ I don’t have faith in any new plan until I see the actual changes and see the money to go with them.”
However, Lhota struck back at De Blasio by claiming the Mayor is only looking to score “cheap political points.”
“The mayor’s solution is rob Peter to pay Paul and take away capital funding that’s already been earmarked for badly needed projects like expanding the Second Avenue subway into Harlem,” Lhota said.
“This isn’t politics, it’s a simple question of math and law. The city is wholly responsible for the capital plan and has only contributed one-third of what the state contributed,” he added.