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A Reliable and Robust Transit System for New York City

July 2nd, 2019

The Problem

On an average weekday, New York’s residents, commuters, and visitors take nearly nine million rides on our subways, trains, and buses.1 We use public transportation to get to work, visit friends, run errands, attend school, and, well, basically everything else. The New York City that we love is only possible because of our transit system.

But New York’s transit system is not what it should be. In recent years, subway reliability has worsened, delays are up, and trains move more slowly.2 Some actions by the managers of our subways and buses have begun to slow this decline,3 but that’s not enough. Riders are still crammed into subway cars at rush hour, night and weekend service is patchy and unreliable, buses are too often late, it is far too hard to move around the city in a wheelchair, and regional transit is fragmented and confusing to navigate.

New York’s transit system needs dramatic transformation and ambitious investment in major new infrastructure.

We are at a turning point: New York State has recently secured new dedicated sources of revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), including a new charge on vehicles entering the most congested parts of Manhattan. But New York City must be careful not to cede further control of our streets to Albany. We can’t continue to allow state lawmakers to cut deals in back rooms, where the city has little say. If the plan moves forward, these new funds must be stewarded by the city to both improve general operations and fundamentally modernize our subways and buses.

But first we must commit to a bolder vision. In 1968, leaders in New York City proposed a sweeping “Program for Action” for our transit system. It included more than 50 miles of new tracks and subway tunnels, dozens of new stations, and strategic investments to run more trains on existing lines. The plan was approved, but implementation stalled during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and never came to fruition. Today, New York City is wealthier, more populous, and technologically more advanced than it was in 1968, but ambition for improving the transit system has shrunk. Recent expansion projects and capacity upgrades—from East Side Access, to the NYC Ferry, to the Second Avenue Subway—have taken far too long, and cost far more than similar projects in other cities. Our aspirations are nowhere near the scale appropriate for a growing, welcoming, and thriving 21st century metropolis. We can, and must, do better.

In this white paper, we share our ideas for moving to a Five Borough Future for transit:

  1. Put New York City in Charge of Its Own Transit System
  2. Fix the Subway
  3. Build a World-Class Bus System
  4. Create an Integrated, Unified Regional Transit System
  5. Demand Justice and Fair Treatment for All Cab Drivers

What We Must Do

(1) Put New York City in Charge of Its Own Transit System

Right now, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is answerable primarily to the governor of New York, while the State Legislature controls the ability to raise revenue to support the MTA. New Yorkers deserve an MTA that is directly accountable to those who rely on it most: the people of New York City. To that end, the relevant authorities within the MTA must be brought under municipal control—including the operations of the subways and buses that operate in New York City controlled by New York City Transit and the Staten Island Railroad, as well as the vehicle bridges currently controlled by MTA Bridges and Tunnels,4 the tolls of which support the financing of the subways and buses.5

Here’s how municipal control would work:

Give the City the Power to Manage and Fund its Transit System The City of New York should control its subways and buses—with clear accountability vested in the mayor and the city council. The city government would be responsible for improving the system, devoting resources, expanding service, and setting fares in a professionalized, transparent, predictable and responsible manner, with oversight by the city council.

Seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City are currently managed by the state-led MTA. The tolls from these bridges and tunnels should continue to be devoted to supporting mass transit, but control—including the ability to set tolling rates—should rest with the jurisdiction in which they are situated: New York City.

We should be able to devote our own resources to our own transit system. After all, the expansive system we have today is only possible because New York City residents had the power to fund and build the core of our system in 1894, when they voted 52,383 to 18,679 in favor of municipal financing and construction of a “rapid-transit road.”6 That vote authorized the city to spend $50,000,000 (>$1.5 trillion in today’s dollars) to build New York City’s first subway lines, which are still in operation today and among the world’s busiest lines.

We must restore that power. In order for New York City to take responsibility for its major transportation assets, it must be granted the ability to levy its own taxes without relying on the State Legislature. This would ensure the system is adequately maintained and fares are kept modest. New York City residents—as taxpayers, transit riders, and voters—are best situated to strike a balance between tax levels and resources available to provide world-class transit.

Better Integrate City Services Imagine a bus and subway service designed to connect the places where people actually live and work now. Municipal control of the mass transit system will allow city agencies to better coordinate transit investments with housing and commercial development. It would also allow the operations of buses to more closely coordinate with the New York City Department of Transportation, which manages the surface streets, including the placement of bus lanes and shelters.

Create a Dedicated MTA Oversight Committee in the State Legislature with Leadership from the Five Boroughs As long as control of the MTA still resides in Albany, state legislators from New York City must fight for transit riders and hold the MTA accountable, ensuring a fair share goes to the five boroughs of New York City. Jurisdiction over the MTA in Albany is currently split between the Transportation and Public Authorities committees. Legislative oversight hearings are shockingly infrequent: the State Senate recently held its first MTA oversight hearing in five years, and the Assembly last held a hearing on the subway in 2014.7 The Legislature should establish a dedicated MTA committee comprising transit-riding elected officials from the five boroughs, who can develop expertise and pursue sustained, focused oversight on behalf of riders.

Pursue A Fair and Smart Fare Policy Municipal control would put the power to set fares in the hands of officials accountable to New York City voters, who are better incentivized to balance the MTA’s financing needs and the budgets of those who ride. Riders should not be faced with steep fare increases as service continues to decline. Fare increases should be modest and predictable—at a rate no higher than inflation.

Ensure a Transparent and Competent Rollout of Congestion Pricing Given the passage of a new toll for vehicles that enter Manhattan below 60th street, elected officials from New York City must push to ensure this new charge is simple and equitable and is managed in a way that respects New York City’s authority and autonomy. As of now, the plan as adopted gives Albany nearly full control over how congestion pricing is implemented, how much it will cost, and where the revenue goes. Though it may be too late to fix the biggest flaws in the plan, city leaders should take advantage of the requirement that it and MTA Bridge and Tunnels develop a “memorandum of understanding.” They should insist on the memorandum granting the city greater control over key aspects of the plan. In next year’s session, the Legislature should grant the city more seats on the key decision-making board (“traffic mobility review board”), control over the revenue generated from the plan, and the ability to pull the plug if the plan proves to be harmful to residents of the city.


(2) Fix the Subway

The New York City Subway is a marvel. In 2017, 113 years after it opened in 1904, the equivalent of more than 20% of the world population rode it. But if you’ve taken the subway recently, you know it is falling apart. It is on time roughly 65% of the time. That’s significantly worse than 20 other major world cities, 19 of which had on-time percentages of 85% or higher.8 Our subway is in desperate need of a dramatic overhaul.

Here’s how we can make our subway system world-class:

Push for Focused Improvements for Fast, Frequent, Reliable Service New York City Transit should focus on operations improvements (e.g. signal timing changes through the Save Safe Seconds initiative)9 and capital upgrades (e.g. signaling upgrades, such as those proposed in New York City Transit’s Fast Forward modernization plans)10 that improve the frequency and reliability of subway service at all hours. Upgraded signals and better operations means more trains, more often.

We should also push for New York City Transit to perform a comprehensive review of subway routing and capacity bottlenecks. This review would culminate in a prioritized list of capital investments, including upgrades to junctions, interlockings, passenger transfers, and other bottlenecks to increase trains per hour and shorten passenger journeys. The review would also propose operational changes to increase the number of trains per hour running on the current rails. In order to increase capacity, the MTA should engage its workforce and labor partners to thoughtfully adopt global best-practices for train operation, including exploring the expansion of one-person train operation.

Improve Night and Weekend Operations Night and weekend service on the subway is infrequent, unreliable, and regularly disrupted by construction and maintenance.11 This disproportionately affects lower-income shift workers with irregular work schedules. It leads riders to increasingly opt for taxis or for-hire vehicles, or to not go out at all. The MTA should pursue new technologies and methods to improve the efficiency, quality, and safety of maintenance work by reforming flagging procedures, expanding the use of track geometry cars (which inspect track without disrupting service), and exploring more robust track barrier systems that protect workers from adjacent trains.

When trains do need to be shut down for planned work, there should not only be advance notice, but also a transparent rationale, and adequate replacement bus service to help people get home at no extra cost.

Run Better Trains About 15% of the subway trains are currently being operated beyond their 40-year life expectancy.12 Newer design elements, such as wider doors and open gangways—which eliminate doors between trains similar to articulated buses—reduce crowding and delays. The current base order for new cars was made for 515 closed-end cars and just 20 open-gangway cars. This was a mistake. Articulated open-gangway trains, common in systems across the world, increase capacity of as much as 15%, reducing crowding by allowing riders to spread out across the train. The MTA should only use closed-end cars on tracks with the tightest turns and use open-gangway cars wherever possible.

Bring Capital Costs to Global Standards Other major world cities, from London to Singapore, are dramatically expanding their transit systems at a fraction of the cost New York incurs.13 The MTA needs to fundamentally reform the way it builds, not so we can shift money away from transit investments but so we can do more and do it sooner.

The MTA must bring its costs to levels comparable with peer systems and urgently reform its construction and contracting processes. That starts with attracting more respondents to competitive bids through more robust marketing of contract opportunities, simplifying specifications so more off-the shelf solutions are available, and simplifying the bidding process so it's easier for smaller firms to compete and grow. We should also loosen restrictions on “design-build” (where the same contractor designs and builds a project, rather than having to bid separately for the design and then for the construction), and on "best value," allowing the MTA to incorporate criteria other than lowest listed cost when selecting contractors (e.g. reputation, history of exemplary performance, etc).

Additionally, the MTA should reform the “change-order” process that creates cost overruns and delays. Right now, when a change is needed in the scope of a construction project (as is almost always the case), it needs to go through a lengthy change-order approval process. There are two interrelated problems: 1) inadequate designs and poor decision-making processes on the front end means designs too frequently need to be changed too much later on, leading to delays and cost overruns; and 2) once the need for a change is identified, it can take a very long time for the change to be approved, and sometimes workers continue work on the old design in the interim.

Make Every Subway Station Accessible The MTA should have a plan to make every subway station truly accessible for anyone with mobility challenges, and accelerate the timeline for the installation of elevators, ramps, and accessible wayfinding as appropriate. Elevators should be incorporated into development plans of buildings adjacent to subway stations, and the MTA should expedite the installation and maintenance of elevators on streetscapes. Once in the station, it needs to be clearly marked where those with mobility challenges can safely board trains because the size of the gap varies along most platforms. But access for those with mobility differences is not enough. Auditory announcements need to be visualized. Signs and notices need to be provided in braille, announced clearly, and supplemented by attentive staff at all stations. The MTA should also continue to reform and improve Access-A-Ride to expand options for door-to-door assisted service. A rideshare-style app could provide live updates and on-demand service so riders don’t have to call to reserve 24 hours in advance.

Create A 50-Year Plan to Expand the Subway System With costs under control, New York would be able to rekindle the ambition of the 1968 “Program for Action.” Like other systems around the world, the New York City subway system should always be in an expansion mode, with a pipeline of capacity improvement and extension projects continually being planned, designed, in construction, and nearing completion. This starts with upgrading signals, as envisioned by New York City Transit’s “Fast Forward” plan, the completion of 2nd Avenue tunnels to Hanover Square and beyond 125th Street to the Bronx, and a suite of capacity improvements to be identified and funded in the next MTA capital plan.

But a longer-term outlook is also necessary. There must be a comprehensive 50-year plan for subway expansion and growth, developed in close coordination with New York City’s plans for affordable housing development and jobs.

This MTA expansion plan should seek to maximize the capacity of current rails and extend the system to more places. We should be exploring major extensions into Brooklyn down Utica and Nostrand Avenues; more lines in Queens to relieve the crowds on the 7 train and connect more neighborhoods to transit; additional service in the Bronx, including along 3rd Avenue; additional mass transit connections across the Hudson River to growing communities in New Jersey; and a subway tunnel connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn or Manhattan. We should be open to more modest extensions that could make a major difference, such as connecting the 3 station to the L station at Livonia for an easy, free transfer; extending the Franklin Shuttle so it connects to the G; or extending the 6 train to Co-op City.


(3) Build a World-Class Bus System

New Yorkers take more than two million trips on the bus every day. But ridership has dropped 13% since 2014.14 That’s because bus riders haven’t been getting the service they deserve. Riders are waiting for too long at stops without shelters, waiting on long lines to board the bus, and are too often stuck in traffic during rides. A quality bus network, with buses separated from traffic, better bus stops, and frequent, reliable service, could shift more commuters out of cars, and be an appealing, convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable way to navigate the city.

Here’s how we can transform our system of buses:

Redesign Bus Networks in Every Borough The bus system has not been thoroughly redesigned in decades. There are confusing, circuitous routes that don’t make sense with where people live or work today, and too many closely-spaced stops that slow down trips while undermining frequent and reliable service. The MTA has begun working with communities to redesign every bus network to improve service,15 with planning in the Bronx and Queens now underway. Elected officials must support these efforts and push the MTA to be as bold as possible in improving service. These redesigns should be accompanied with investments in additional service to improve frequency and reliability, including adding buses and drivers, and should not be an excuse to cut service levels and overall expenditures.

Prioritize Bus Movements on the Streets Bus lanes work. Where bus lanes are installed, bus speeds improve, and bus riders experience faster trips and more reliable service. Elected officials must advocate for and support projects to install bus lanes on streets where they’re needed to improve bus service, even if it means repurposing some street parking or removing lanes of traffic. To keep bus lanes clear of encroaching cars and other vehicles, we should encourage offset or center-running lanes whenever feasible, pilot bollards in between lanes, and move to fully-automated camera enforcement. Our elected officials in Albany must pass legislation to authorize the use of automated cameras for any bus lane in the city, as their use is currently tightly restricted under state law. We should also expand use of signal priority technology, which gives buses green lights and helps them move through traffic faster.

Fewer, More Rider-Friendly Bus Stops Almost one quarter of the time on a typical bus ride is spent at bus stops.16 New Yorkers should have a comfortable place to wait for the bus at every stop. There should be a shelter or bench at every bus stop in the city, with a legible route map so riders know where every bus will go. Additionally, the MTA should dramatically expand the use of countdown clocks so riders know when the next bus is coming.

Consolidating stops and allowing people to board at every door will dramatically shorten overall trip time. The MTA should explore setting, in partnership with accessibility experts and local communities, a bold, yet accessible, standard to guide both consolidation and improvements.

Clean and Electric Buses The MTA recently phased out their oldest diesel buses. As the MTA upgrades their fleet and adds more buses to improve service, they should be adopting the cleanest, lowest emission vehicles possible, while setting themselves on a course to an all-electric fleet. As this transition occurs, they should ensure that older buses are not disproportionately used on routes in lower-income neighborhoods.17


(4) Create an Integrated, Unified Regional Transit System

Of course, subways and buses are not the only transit in New York City. Metro North, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, NYC Ferry, and the Port Authority’s PATH train bring millions of commuters into New York City from across the region and make stops throughout the five boroughs. But regional transit is fragmented. The possibilities for this infrastructure are not being maximized or planned holistically to improve service, and there is no unified rider-friendly experience. That should change.

Here is how to integrate all public transit serving NYC:

Make the Commuter Rails into a Subway-Like Experience Within the Five Boroughs It’s time to end two-tier transit. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road have 38 stations in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn that could provide a fast ride into Manhattan. But high ticket prices keeps these stations out of reach for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who live near them.18 The MTA should make rides on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road inside the five boroughs the same price as a subway fare with a free transfer to the subways and buses. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road should also increase service frequency within the five boroughs to provide a subway-like experience on their intra-city service, including exploring the use of fare gates at stations rather than requiring a conductor-checked ticket.

Create Regional Monthly All-Access Pass New Yorkers should be able to buy discounted monthly passes that unlock unlimited access to the entire region’s transit options—similar to the Clipper Card in the San Francisco Bay Area or the Oyster Card in London and other regionally integrated transit systems across Europe. As the MTA adopts their new “OMNY” fare payment card, they should work to integrate it with every transit system in the region. For an unlimited-ride monthly all-in pass or pay-per ride via a linked credit or debit card, an OMNY card should let you access rides on subways, buses, Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, NYC Ferry, PATH, and New Jersey Transit, as well as bike share. The City Council should make sure this all-access option is available as a pre-tax transit benefit and provided as a commuter benefit to all workers in New York City, instead of just businesses with 20 or more employees.19 Meanwhile, we should explore ways to raise the price of single-ride and day passes used by tourists—while still providing affordable day passes to low-income New Yorkers—to help fund the travel of those of us who live and work here every day.

Put PATH and NYC Ferry on the Subway Map The PATH system is a subway that runs from lower Manhattan and Midtown to New Jersey—a high-frequency transit service that links New York to fast-growing municipalities west of the Hudson that should be seamlessly linked with the subway service provided by the MTA. The MTA should update the subway maps to make it clear that PATH service is easily accessible from the subway, and its routes should appear as just another subway line. PATH and the MTA should work out a fare sharing arrangement to allow monthly MTA passes to gain access to the PATH system, and we should eliminate the walls and physical separations at stations that currently prevent easy, free transfer from PATH to MTA systems. The same goes for NYC Ferry. New Yorkers should be able to view one map and see all the ways they can get where they need to go, regardless of which agency administers each system.

Pursue Regional Service Integration, Including Through-Running at Penn Station Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, and New Jersey Transit should be coordinated in their service, operations, and capital investment planning to identify opportunities to integrate and improve service for regional commuters. In particular, running trains from New Jersey to Long Island, rather than terminating at Penn Station, has the possibility of dramatically expanding capacity at Penn Station.20 The MTA, NJT, and Amtrak should revisit the ReThink NYC plan, which is a thoughtful plan for integrating our various rail systems.

Expand Capacity of NYC Ferry Many of NYC Ferry boats fit fewer people than a single subway car.21 While the city has moved to purchasing larger 350- and 400-person ferries, it is hard to imagine how this could make a dent in a system that moves over five million people per day. NYC Ferry should pilot using even larger boats on the most crowded routes. Additionally, the city should ensure that a proper bidding process leads to the most cost-effective shipbuilder, rather than whatever will get the ferries in the water in time for the mayor’s political calendar.22

More Access for Everyday New Yorkers to NYC Ferry NYC Ferry is well-liked by the relatively wealthy New Yorkers who use it. Since costs exceed the revenue from $2.75 fares, the rest of the city is essentially subsidizing the transit of affluent New Yorkers.23 The planned expansion to new stations and free transfers proposed above would improve access for lower-income New Yorkers. To further that end, service could be extended on both sides of Upper Manhattan and the South and West portions of the Bronx. Second, the city should explore connecting NYC Ferry service to Randall’s and Riker’s Islands—the latter of which is accessible to families impacted by the correctional system only through a long multiple-transfer journey. And a fast ferry option to LaGuardia and JFK airports would help both those connecting to air travel and those passing through on highways.24


(5) Demand Justice and Fair Treatment for All Cab Drivers

While they aren’t formally part of the public transportation system, cabs of all kinds—both yellow taxis and rideshare vehicles—are now an integral part of New Yorkers’ lives. Uber and Lyft have provided a service previously denied to New Yorkers of color and to those who live outside Manhattan, both of whom were routinely underserved by many traditional taxi companies. At the same time, we now know, thanks to a New York Times investigation,25 that yellow taxi drivers, many of whom are recent immigrants, have been systematically exploited by big banks, taxi companies, and the city. About one thousand have declared bankrupcy, hundreds more are unable to make loan payments, and several have committed suicide. While Uber and Lyft undoubtedly had an effect on their earnings, the deepest roots of this crisis go beyond ridesharing.26 It’s time to make things right for both sets of drivers, the vast majority of whom are lower-income strivers trying to earn a living in our city.

Here is how to make things right for all NYC drivers for hire:

Don’t Let Those Responsible Off the Hook We support the attorney general’s and the mayor’s investigations into brokers and lenders who preyed on taxi drivers. We also applaud the City Council’s plan to hold hearings on the TLC’s role in the crisis. But none of this would have happened if regulators had done their jobs.

Attorney General James should open inquiries into the other actors involved in the crisis. First, her office should investigate the Taxi and Limousine Commision (TLC) for inciting speculation on medallion prices to fatten city coffers. Second, it should probe other state and federal entities—including New York State banking regulators,27 the National Credit Union Association, and prominent elected officials with ties to the taxi industry28—to find out why these actors turned a blind eye to improper practices by lenders they were supposed to be overseeing.

Prevent Predatory Lending from Happening Again While we think they waited far too long and bear some responsibility for our current crisis, we support the efforts in the City Council and the State Legislature to prevent these predatory practices from happening in the future.

Specifically, we support measures in the Council that would create an office to collect the financial disclosures of medallion owners and require the TLC to evaluate the ability to pay of potential medallion purchasers. We also support measures to evaluate and regulate brokers of medallions.

The bills in the State Legislature that would improve disclosures for business loans, outlaw deceptive practices, and ban lenders from asking for confessions of judgement are important first steps. After a borrower is convinced to sign one of these documents, lenders are free to collect using any method and timeframe they want—and many send debt collectors who used questionable tactics to intimidate drivers.29 Legislators should go further and outlaw exorbitant fees for early payments and various administrative tasks. They must also ban “interest only” loans, under which borrowers make high payments—almost equal to the average driver’s monthly income—but never get to pay down the debt itself.

Make Things Right for Drivers Wrongly Indebted for Life The mayor took a step in the right direction by calling for the creation of a driver assistance center to provide free financial counseling to those affected and waiving up to $10 million in fees charged to medallion owners. But these measures are not well-targeted or large enough. Rather than targeting drivers who were deceived and manipulated, the fee waivers apply equally to all drivers. And the estimated debt of all medallion owners is $3 billion—far greater than the fee waiver. We need to take further action.

New legislation should require lenders to renegotiate outstanding loans with predatory terms to be in line with proper lending practices. It should also subsidize a new refinancing program that would rightsize loans to match the true medallion values—not those inflated by the city’s, state’s, and banks’ questionable tactics.

Ensure Fair Competition and Treatment for All For-Hire Vehicles The City Council should work to develop a holistic framework for licensing and protecting drivers to operate for-hire vehicles, whether they drive taxis or for a ridesharing company. While we don’t have all the answers yet, minimum-pay rates for rideshare drivers could be applied to yellow taxi drivers as well. (We have yet to see prices rise, despite Uber’s and Lyft’s claims that they would). Further, the city should, as a way to increase competition while improving service and working conditions, explore supporting “platform cooperatives” that have the same technologies as popular rideshare platforms but are jointly owned and controlled by drivers.30


A Note on Cost

All of these proposals to transform transit in New York City will cost a lot of money. But New York has invested orders of magnitude more in the past.

In 1895, the city was authorized to spend $50 million to create the beginnings of a subway system.31 In today’s dollars that would be equivalent to over $1.5 trillion. Now in 2019, the MTA’s budget is just $17 billion.32 Phase two of the 2nd Avenue Subway extension, while significantly over budget, is estimated to cost about $6 billion.33 City and state budgets have grown dramatically over the past decade while MTA service has declined and major infrastructure projects have stalled. Our ambitions are too small relative to our city’s needs.

New York has the resources to make many of the investments proposed above quickly, and can make some of the larger investments with time if it plans accordingly and brings competent leadership to the case. In the meantime, we should begin with the proposals that cost next to nothing, starting with the most important: giving the city control of its own transit system.

[In a future white paper, we will cover New York’s fiscal practices, and give suggested guidelines and proposals that would help the city find the money to devote to the expansion of services.]

Conclusion

Every single day the vast majority of New Yorkers interact with their government by taking public transit. For too long that interaction—whether it be on a bus, a regional train, a subway platform, or a cab—has left New Yorkers feeling exasperated, frustrated, and confused. It is time for the city to demand control of its own transit destiny and use that to transform our subways, our buses, and our regional railways into one integrated, safe, fast, reliable, and equitable system that we can ride with pride.

*We will address bike lanes, walkability, accessibility, and pedestrian safety in our upcoming Livability White Paper.

 

Endnotes

1. “MTA - Transportation Network,” accessed June 13, 2019, http://web.mta.info/mta/network.htm.

2. Rosenthal, Brian M., Emma G. Fitzsimmons, and Michael LaForgia, “How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways,” The New York Times, November 18, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/nyregion/new-york-subway-system-failure-delays.html.

3. NYCT President’s Report, April 2019, http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/190415_1030_transit-bus.pdf.

4. The trade name of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA).

5. New York City Council, “Let’s Go: A Case for Municipal Control and a Comprehensive Transportation Vision for the Five Boroughs,” March 2019, https://council.nyc.gov/news/2019/03/05/soc2019-report/.

6. “THE CITY'S OFFICIAL VOTE,” The New York Times, November 24, 1894, https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1894/11/24/106881446.html.

7. Reinvent Albany, “‘Open MTA’ — 50 Things NY Can Do Now To Renew Public Trust in MTA,” May 1, 2019, https://reinventalbany.org/2019/05/open-mta-50-things-ny-can-do-now-to-renew-public-trust-in-mta/.

8. Brian M. Rosenthal, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, and Michael LaForgia, “How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways,” New York Times, November 18, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/nyregion/new-york-subway-system-failure-delays.html.

9. Railway Age, “NYCT: Faster, Safer,” March 2019, https://www.railwayage.com/safety/nyct-faster-safer/.

10. MTA, “NYCT Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit,” accessed June 2019, https://fastforward.mta.info/.

11. Uday Schultz, “It’s Not Your Imagination: The MTA Runs Less Subway Service Than It Did 10 Years Ago,” February 2018, https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2018/02/19/its-not-your-imagination-the-mta-runs-less-subway-service-than-it-did-10-years-ago/.

12. Vincent Barone, “Subway cars with new, open-gangway design to arrive in 2020,” AM NY, January 22, 2019, https://www.amny.com/transit/new-subway-cars-1.26287915.

13. Regional Plan Association, 2018 “Building Rail Transit Projects for Less: A Report on the Costs of Delivering MTA Megaprojects,” http://library.rpa.org/pdf/RPA-Building-Rail-Transit-Projects-Better-for-Less.pdf.

14. NYCDOT, “Better Buses Action Plan,” April 2019, https://www1.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/better-buses-action-plan-2019.pdf.

15. MTA, “Draft Plan: Bronx Bus Network Redesign,” 2019, https://new.mta.info/bronxbusredesign.

16. NYC Comptroller, “The Other Transit Crisis: How to Improve the NYC Bus System,” November 27, 2017, https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/the-other-transit-crisis-how-to-improve-the-nyc-bus-system/#_edn3.

17. Clayton Guse, “Brooklyn Borough President Adams calls for investigation into MTA's allocation of buses in poor neighborhoods,” New York Daily News, March 18, 2019, https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-eric-adams-brooklyn-buses-20190318-story.html.

18. NYC Comptroller, “Expanding Access in One Swipe: Opening Commuter Lines to Metrocards,” March 16, 2018, https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/expanding-access-in-one-swipe-opening-commuter-lines-to-metrocards/.

19. Riders Alliance, “Campaign Victories!,” January 18, 2019, http://www.ridersny.org/victories/.

20. Tri-State Transportation Campaign, July 2015, “Through-Running at Penn Station is the Key to a Unified Regional Rail Network,” http://blog.tstc.org/2015/07/08/through-running-at-penn-station-is-the-key-to-a-unified-regional-rail-network/.

21. Henry Grabar, “Ferry Tales,” Slate, May 1, 2017, https://slate.com/business/2017/05/new-yorks-new-ferry-is-bad-for-transportation-but-a-very-guilty-pleasure.html.

22. ibid.

23. Patrick McGeehan, “A Ferry Subsidy of $24.75 a Ride? New York City’s Costs Are Ballooning,” New York Times, April 17, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/nyregion/new-york-ferry.html.

24. Christopher Barca, “Boro Board wants LGA ferry service,” Queens Chronicle, December 7, 2017,

25. Brian M. Rosenthal, “How We Investigated the New York Taxi Medallion Bubble,” New York Times, May 22, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/reader-center/taxi-medallion-investigation.html.

26. Brian M. Rosenthal, “‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers,” New York Times, May 19, 2019,

27. (Now called the New York Department of Financial Services)

28. Brian M. Rosenthal, “Facing Ruin, Taxi Drivers to Get $10 Million Break and Loan Safeguards,” New York Times, June 12, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/nyregion/nyc-taxi-medallions.html.

29. Brian M. Rosenthal, “‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers,” New York Times, May 19, 2019,

30. Neal Gorenflo, “How Platform Coops Can Beat Death Stars Like Uber to Create a Real Sharing Economy,” November 4, 2015, https://www.shareable.net/how-platform-coops-can-beat-death-stars-like-uber-to-create-a-real-sharing-economy/.

31. Larry Margasak, “O Say Can You See Stories from the Museum: A seven-year struggle to build New York's subway,” National Museum of American History, October 27, 2017, https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/seven-year-struggle-build-new-yorks-subway.

32. Stephen Nessen, “MTA Passes $17 Billion Budget for 2019 As Agency Approaches 'A Precipice',” Gothamist, December 13, 2018,

33. Dan Rivoli, “MTA Faces Task of Cutting Costs for the Next Phase of the Second Avenue Subway,” NY1 Spectrum News, April 15, 2019, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/transit/2019/04/16/second-avenue-subway-mta-hoping-to-cut-costs-to-move-project-forward.