To The Editor:
The current disagreement between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over how to deal with the increasing numbers of homeless people in the New York City subway system is nothing new. This ongoing feud over numerous issues between Cuomo and de Blasio is now into its fourth year.
De Blasio envisions himself as the national spokesman for progressive mayors from all cities. This conflicts with governors who have to worry about all 62 counties making up New York State. It also creates problems for governors like Cuomo, who harbor presidential ambitions for 2020.
If municipal officials feel that they could do a better job managing the MTA—including running the nation’s largest subway and bus system and dealing with the increasing homeless population living underground—they should man up and regain control. Instead of complaining, de Blasio should come up with the balance of $2.5 billion that the city still owes toward fully funding the $32 billion MTA 2015-2019 Five-Year Capital Program, add several billion more and match dollar for dollar any additional state assistance.
Cuomo should deliver the outstanding $5.8 billion balance toward his original $8.3 billion pledge, plus his most recent new commitment of an additional $1 billion. The MTA can’t afford to wait until 2018 or 2019 for both de Blasio and Cuomo to make good on their respective promised financial commitments. Neither can transit riders and taxpayers, who are looking for accountability, efficient and timely completion for both capital projects, and routine maintenance to assure more reliable and safe on-time service.