According to the Daily News, in 2016, roughly 92 percent of persons arrested for fare evasion were people of color, many of whom were also low-income and ended up spending at least one day in jail. With this in mind, State Senator Jesse Hamilton of Crown Heights and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright of Bed-Stuy, both Democrats, will introduce legislation to decriminalize turnstile jumping cases. Instead of the offense warranting an arrest, misdemeanor charges, and a $100 fine, they propose the MTA’s Adjudication Bureau handle it as a civil matter.
After months of what has seemed like rapidly accelerating deterioration, scary incidents, complaints and finger-pointing, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed on Tuesday an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system, the New York Times reports. Some key solutions identified for the initial phase of the plan, called “MTA Moving Forward,” included taking out seats on some cars–Boston’s transit system has done this in some cases to make room for more commuters. When asked when riders would begin to see the benefits of the plan, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said that key parts of the plan’s initial phase would be implemented “relatively quickly.”
The ongoing public debate over whether the state or city controls the subway continued this weekend when Mayor de Blasio, riding a Manhattan-bound F train on Sunday, demanded Governor Cuomo “take responsibility” over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The mayor’s comments come after Cuomo and Joseph Lhota, the recently appointed chairman of the MTA, called on de Blasio and the city last week to contribute more money to the authority for repair work. As the New York Times reported, de Blasio said the MTA has a lot of money that they’re not spending, including the $2.5 billion contributed by the city in 2015, to the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan.
Although New York City’s subway is currently in a state of emergency, no government official seems to want to take ownership of the failing transit system. Governor Cuomo and Joseph Lhota, the recently appointed chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, called on Mayor de Blasio and City Hall to contribute more money for repairing the subway system on Thursday, citing a law that puts the city in charge of the track system. As the New York Times reported, Lhota and the MTA are preparing an emergency plan to deal with the subway, expecting more funds to come from the city. The plan, which Cuomo ordered the MTA to create within 30 days, is set to be completed by the end of next week.
After an upper Manhattan track fire this week reminded them that trash catches fire, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is considering limiting the all-too-familiar practice of stuffing one’s face with hot, messy food while riding the subway. The New York Times reports that MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota said Tuesday that he’d like to curb inappropriate eating as a way to eliminate fires caused by the ensuing litter.
6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, we share a set of vintage photos documenting the NYC subway in 1981. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Grim, gritty, grimy–these are just a few of the adjectives one could use to describe New York City in the 1980s. Homicide rates were at near-record highs, the crack epidemic had exploded, the police force had dwindled after the recession, and government mismanagement left the city on the brink of bankruptcy. At the time, a 22-year-old photographer from Florida named Christopher Morris was interning at the photo agency Black Star. According to TIME, he saw the graffiti-covered subway, dark, dank, and dangerous, as a battleground that “proved an opportunity to work on something of a domestic front line.” Now an award-winning photojournalist, Morris recently rediscovered this set of shots that he took over six months in 1981, during which time he devoted himself to this unique, seedy underworld.
Eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station officially began Monday, affecting commuters using the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Amtrak will close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations, which will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Overall, there will be a 20 percent reduction in the number of trains to Manhattan from NJ and Long Island. To minimize the impact on riders, the MTA has offered discounted fares and transit alternatives like ferry and bus service (h/t NY Times).
As a solution to Manhattan’s rapid population growth and street congestion in the late 1800s, railroad companies decided to better serve their passengers by elevating the trains above ground. Originally, four elevated lines ran the length of Manhattan, but after complaints about the trains blocking light and emitting extremely loud noise, they suffered from a decrease in ridership. The elevated trains that ran along Second, Sixth and Ninth Avenues were all demolished between 1939 and 1942. The one line that stood its ground for a bit longer was the Third Avenue El, which was constructed between 1875 and 1878 and ran from South Ferry to Chatham Square before closing for good in 1955.
During a press conference Thursday, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and announced that he would sign an executive order to expedite the process of fixing the system. The governor’s announcement comes just two days after a subway train derailed at 125th Street, injuring over 30 people. His plan includes committing an additional $1 billion in the MTA’s capital plan and reviewing the system’s decades-old equipment.
It seems every day brings New Yorkers new subway drama, train delays and disappointment. While this week’s A-train derailment, which injured dozens of people, is being blamed on human error, not a track defect, the system is still over 100-years old. And despite its signals and tracks in need of a definite upgrade, the biggest cause of subway delays is overcrowding. According to the New York Times, overcrowding now accounts for more than one-third of the nearly 75,000 subway delays across the system each month.