- The New New York: Transit
All I Want For Christmas Is A Subway To Staten Island
It's hard not to share Sam's dreams of new subway lines and other transit improvements. After all, it has been more than 70 years since New York City has opened a new subway line. Meanwhile, our global competitors from London to Paris to Moscow to Hong Kong to Tokyo have been steadily expanding their transit networks.
As always, the challenge is raising the money – and balancing the bright new improvements with fixing the existing system of thousands of subway cars, buses and rail coach cars and hundreds of miles of transit infrastructure, like track and signals.
I also Sam's view that eventually adopt some form of congestion pricing, as both a way to discourage driving and to generate revenue. Whether it will happen and how much it will raise for mass transit is uncertain to say the least.
But if there were money, the priority must be bringing the existing subway, bus and commuter rail system to a state of good repair, as well as underwriting important improvements.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has spent more than $72 billion on mainly rebuilding the existing system since 1982. The results have gotten the region a vastly more reliable transit system. Just one statistic: In 1980, subway cars broke down every 7,500 miles. Now they go 150,000 miles without a delay caused by mechanical problems.
So that's my dream: That 7.5 million daily transit riders get the reliable service they deserve. Coupled with improvements like computerized signals that provide less crowding throughout the system, systemwide count down clocks, flexible SMART cards for paying fares, faster and more reliable bus service and an end to moldy,creepy, dreary and paint peeling stations.
Those are some of the transit goodies on my holiday list.
ARCHIVESVIEW FULL ARCHIVE
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