A train derailment, an electrical fire and massive delays are now standard if you’re riding the New York City subway — and one Queens senator is imploring Governor Andrew Cuomo to do something about it.
State Senator Michael Gianaris announced last week a new bill that would create a temporary tax for residents making more than $1 million to pump emergency funds into the MTA. The bill, called “Better Trains, Better Cities,” would also appoint an emergency manager to oversee the maintenance of the system.
Though the Senate and Assembly are in recess, Cuomo called a special session of the legislature on Wednesday to give Mayor Bill de Blasio mayoral control of city schools for one year. Gianaris is arguing that the session should also be used to discuss the MTA’s problems.
“The MTA crisis is real and it is upon us,” he said in a statement. “New Yorkers are suffering the consequences of years of underfunding and mismanaging of our mass transit system. It would be irresponsible for state leaders to allow this to continue without finding a solution and that is what we should do with the urgency this crisis demands.”
Gianaris is asking constituents and subway riders to sign a petition that asks Cuomo and the state Legislature to figure out a solution to the MTA’s woes before calling a recess.
“Employees were late to work, patients missed doctor’s appointments and students missed graduations,” the petition read. “The situation became dangerous as individuals were forced to pry open train doors in order to escape unbearable heat, after being stuck on a train which had lost power. Two commuters even exited a stalled train and attempted to walk to work on the tracks.”
He argued that “fixing the MTA should be a top priority” and that members of the legislature should not leave the Capitol until a solution is proposed. The petition can be found here.
Like clockwork, just as the senator announced his petition, it was reported that the A train derailed in Manhattan and left more than a dozen people injured.
2/ One lady began having a panic attack, and most people had to use their shirts to not breathe in the smoke. Some people are crying.
— Benjamin Williams (@i_benjammin) June 27, 2017
“The MTA is a total disaster,” Gianaris said. “When are we going to realize how bad this crisis is and finally do something about it?”