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The MTA has proven time and time again they can’t be trusted to spend taxpayer dollars wisely or efficiently. Their $30 million backsplash project is yet another example of mismanagement and wastefulness.
Rather than allocating the money to desperately needed subway repairs, the MTA opted to stripe two city tunnels in the state’s blue-and-gold color scheme.
That’s right – the MTA chose to spend $30 million dollars not on updating trains, repairing decrepit stations, or fixing broken tracks, but on giving two underground tunnels blue and gold stripes. Most people are too busy shoveling into packed subway cars to even notice what is painted on the walls, but Albany insisted.
The MTA approved Albany’s pricey tile change proposal in November 2016, just months before LIRR riders were forced to endure the “Summer of Hell.” Years of the negligence finally caught up with the system as riders were faced unprecedented delays, cancellations and overcrowding.
It is clear that $30 million would have been better spent elsewhere, and many MTA officials agree. One board member argued the project “is exactly the type of distraction, expense, and use of the MTA… as a marketing tool that is at the root of many of our problems.”
The MTA has already spent $333 million spent on renovations, but the transit system is still in dire need of major changes. Subway leaders admit that major weekday incidents remain “stubbornly high,” and the on-time rate for trains is the lowest since the transit crisis of the 1970s.
MTA chairman Joseph Lhota and new subway leader Andy Byford are struggling to find funding from state and city leaders to finance a $37 billion long-term subway renovation plan to replace old trains and repair crumbling stations.
$30 million could have made a sizable down payment.
Instead of letting politicians grab more money from taxpayers and put it to waste, New Yorkers must demand reform and accountability from Albany. Sign up to Reclaim New York Today!