July 24, 2017: #DAYS OF DELAYS: TIME TO BAN FOOD?

How was the start of your commute week?  Snags plagued some systems, and while a blame game goes on between the mayor and the governor, a bigger issue surfaces:  is it time to ban food from the platforms and trains?  All the issues we’re facing this week as these “days of delays” creep on.

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'VE RAFAEL P. RAMON.

IT'S THE START OF A NEW WORK WEEK AND COMMUTERS FACING TRAFFIC PROBLEMS, AS THE BLAME GAME CONTINUES BETWEEN THE MAYOR AND GOVERNOR.

COMMUTERS ARE NOT SURE WHAT IT MEANS, BUT ARE WARY OF MORE HEADACHES.

FOR EXAMPLE, JUST LAST WEEK, A Q TRAIN DERAILED IN BROOKLYN DURING THE MORNING RUSH HOUR.

THAT WASN'T THE ONLY INCIDENT THAT CAUSED DISRUPTIONS AND EVEN FEAR ON OUR SUBWAY SYSTEM.

EARLIER IN THE WEEK A TRACK FIRE IN HARLEM SENT AT LEAST NINE PEOPLE TO LOCAL HOSPITALS, SOME FOR SMOKE INHALATION.

AUTHORITIES SAY GARBAGE FIRE ON THE TRACK WAS THE CAUSE OF THE EVENT.

IS POSING ANOTHER INCONVENIENCE OF STRAP HANGERS THE WAY TO FIX THE TRANSIT SYSTEM'S FIRE PROBLEM?

AS PART OF OUR ONGOING DAYS OF DELAYS COVERAGE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, WE'RE TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS AND OTHER RAIL RELATED ISSUES WITH CHANNEL 11 REPORTER GREG MOCKER WHO JOINS US NOW.

GREG, WELCOME.

THANKS, RAFAEL.

HOW SERIOUS IS THE FOOD BAN?

THE POSSIBILITY OF A FOOD BAN?

IT DOES SEEM LIKE THE LEAST OF OUR WORRIES, RIGHT?

ALTHOUGH WHEN I HAVEN'T HAD DINNER, I DO GET JEALOUS IF SOMEBODY HAS SOME PARTICULARLY SCRUMPTIOUS FOOD THERE.

OR SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT LIKE THE SMELL.

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE SECOND IS THE --

I UNDERSTAND.

PEOPLE HAVE TO DO IT, RIGHT?

YEAH, HOW LIKELY IS IT?

I THINK THIS CAME UP AS A -- AS SOMETHING THAT WAS ON THE TABLE.

AND I DON'T THINK IT'S THAT LIKELY.

BECAUSE THE ENFORCEMENT WOULD BE --

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ENFORCEMENT.

JOE LOTTA, IN HIS PREVIOUS INCARNATION AS MTA CHIEF, WAS VERY MUCH OPPOSED TO IT.

IN FACT HE KILLED A BILL THAT WAS PROPOSED IN ALBANY THAT WOULD BAN FOOD.

NOW HE'S THE ONE THAT'S PROPOSING IT.

IN FACT, HE MOCKED, OR CHASTISED THE MAYOR FOR BEING AGAINST THE FOOD BAN.

SO THERE'S SOME SERIOUSNESS TO IT.

IT'S ALMOST AS IF HE'S SAYING WE'RE TRYING TO COVER ALL THE BASES.

HE SAID WHEN YOU'RE ON A TRAIN YOU MIGHT NEED A SNACK.

AND WHAT'S NEXT, IS THIS GOING TO BE BANNING NEWSPAPERS?

I HOPE NOT.

WE'VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE OUR NEWSPAPERS.

THAT'S A GOOD POINT.

I THINK THEY'RE TRYING TO AT LEAST MAYBE BEFORE THIS PAST WEEK, SINCE SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED AGAIN, THEY WERE TRYING TO SAY, WE'RE LOOKING AT ALL OF THESE OPTIONS.

IT SEEMS TO ME WHEN I FIRST HEARD IT, THERE'S PLENTY OF OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO GO TO BEFORE BANNING FOOD.

INSTEAD OF REDUCING THE GARBAGE CANS, INCREASING.

YOU KNOW, PATH TRAIN HAVE A FOOD BAN.

THEY HAVE DIFFERENT ISSUES, BUT IT GOES TO ENFORCEMENT AS WELL THERE.

AGAIN, I THINK THEY'RE RUNNING DOWN EVERY POSSIBLE THING THAT THEY -- THEY WANT TO COVER EVERYTHING.

WE'RE GOING TO GET --

AS YOU SAY, ENFORCEMENT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT.

PANHANDLING IN THE SUBWAY IS STILL ILLEGAL AND IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, FOR EXAMPLE, RIGHT?

RIGHT.

AND THEN THAT WILL BE NYPD, ARE THEY GOING TO GET CHARGED TO START ENFORCING THIS?

COULD SET UP ANOTHER MAYOR AND GOVERNOR BACK-AND-FORTH.

ANOTHER ONE.

GREG, I WAS THINKING ABOUT, AS WE WERE PREPARING FOR THIS CONVERSATION, YOU KNOW, I GOT TO NEW YORK IN 1979.

DURING THE BAD OLD DAYS OF THE SUBWAY SYSTEM.

AND THEY WERE BAD.

THEY WERE DIRTY, THEY WERE DANGEROUS, COVERED BY GRAFFITI.

HALF THE DOORS NEVER OPENED.

BUT UNLESS MY MEMORY IS FAILING ME, I DON'T REMEMBER REGULAR DERAILMENTS, I DON'T REMEMBER REGULAR FIRES ON THE TRACK, I DON'T REMEMBER DAILY PROBLEMS --

YOUR MEMORY IS FINE.

I THINK THAT IT'S CERTAINLY AN OLDER SYSTEM THAN IT WAS DECADES AGO.

THAT'S JUST -- THAT'S AN EASY FACT.

AND THE ROUTINE MAINTENANCE DIDN'T HAPPEN WITH DELAYS.

YOU KNOW, YOU'VE GOT A CAR AT HOME.

YOU HAVE A BIKE, YOU HAVE A HOUSE AND YOU PUT OFF TAKING CARE OF THOSE LITTLE THINGS.

AFTER A WHILE THEY START TO ADD UP.

AND THE OTHER THING, I THINK WE'RE MORE AWARE OF IT NOW, TOO, SINCE WE HAVE THE INTERNET, SINCE WE HAVE THESE APPS THAT CAN TELL US IF THEY'RE DELAYED.

WE'RE CONDITIONED, AT LEAST I AM, TO CHECK BEFORE YOU GO OUT.

I THINK WE'RE GETTING THE INFORMATION MORE THAN MAYBE WE WERE IN THE PAST.

THAT'S ALL TRUE, BUT THE EXPERIENCE.

FOR EXAMPLE, ON MY WAY HERE TODAY THE TRAIN STOPPED THREE TIMES.

THAT HAPPENS ON A DAILY BASIS.

IT'S UNUSUAL FOR THAT NOT TO HAPPEN.

WE'RE CONDITIONED FOR THAT AGAIN, BECAUSE IT'S GETTING OLDER AND THEY NEED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF IT.

HOPEFULLY THAT'S -- WE'RE AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT.

I'VE SAID THAT BEFORE.

WE'RE BACK TO THIS KIND OF BACK-AND-FORTH THAT I HEARD --

THE $64,000 QUESTION, WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?

WHO'S TO BLAME?

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE GOVERNOR'S BLAMING THE MAYOR, JOE LOTTO IS BLAMING THE CITY.

AND THE GOVERNOR BLAMING THE MAYOR.

SAYING THE MTA WAS USING THE SUBWAY MONEY, YOU KNOW, AS AN ATM.

BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN SOME BUDGET SHIFTING AROUND.

ABSOLUTELY.

I ALWAYS SAY YOU'VE GOT TO GO TO THE LAW AND WHAT IT SAYS.

AND IT SETS UP THE MTA AS THE BODY THAT IS IN CHARGE OF THAT, AND THE GOVERNOR MAKES THE APPOINTMENTS.

I SAY THE BUCK STOPS --

THE MAJORITY OF APPOINTMENTS.

YEAH.

BUT IS THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, AND HAS THE INFRASTRUCTURE HERE TO BE ON HIS MIND?

I LIKE TO SAY, MAYBE I'M JUST LIKE A WEIRD OPTIMIST, IF THEY COULD GET ALONG, IF THEY COULD COMPROMISE AND SAY WE'RE BOTH GOING TO WORK ON THIS, I THINK THEY COULD BOTH WIN.

IT'S A WIN-WIN FOR BOTH OF THEM.

THIS BACK-AND-FORTH IS JUST AN ODD THING.

GOVERNOR CUOMO IS AN ASTUTE POLITICIAN, HE KNOWS HOW THIS WORKS.

HE'S AT SECOND AVENUE STOOD THERE AND SAID HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE.

HOW ABOUT THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS -- OH, NOT ON THIS PROJECT.

IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYBODY IN THIS IS TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

EXCEPT THE RIDERS.

WE'RE JUST TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE SAFELY, RELATIVELY ON TIME.

JOE LOTTO IS GOING TO HAVE A LONG-TERM SOLUTION TO FIXING THE SUBWAYS LATER THIS WEEK.

ANY IDEA WHAT THAT WILL INCLUDE?

I THINK WE'LL SEE SOME SHORT-TERM THINGS.

REMOVING TRASH, OR, YOU KNOW, CLEANING IT UP MORE, THAT WOULD HELP CUT DOWN TRACK FIRES WHICH WOULD TAKE A SLICE OF THE DELAYS OUT.

THEY'RE LOOKING AT EVERYTHING.

I THINK IT MAY MEAN MORE INSPECTIONS.

BECAUSE RIGHT NOW THEY HAVE SOME GUIDELINES THAT THEY FOLLOW, BUT THEY'RE SPACED OUT.

THEY'RE INSPECTING THINGS MAYBE ONCE EVERY TWO MONTHS.

WHY IS THAT?

SOME OF IT IS STAFFING.

SOME OF IT IS JUST LIKE THE WAY THAT IT'S ALWAYS BEEN.

IT'S NOT ALWAYS WHAT HAPPENS WITH GOVERNMENT SOMETIMES, THE BUREAUCRACY.

WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY.

I'VE WORKED AT CHANNEL 11 FOR GOING ON SEVEN YEARS NOW.

AND WHEN I FIRST STARTED, THAT'S WHAT IT WAS, THIS IS THE WAY WE ALWAYS DID IT MTA WOULD SAY.

THAT'S MOVING A LITTLE BIT NOW.

WE HAVE LESS THAN 30 SECONDS.

IS THERE ANY LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, NO PUN INTENDED?

ARE THE DAYS OF DELAYS GOING TO CONTINUE BEYOND THE SUMMER?

I THINK IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE THIS WAY FOR THE SHORT TERM.

I'M BELIEVING THAT THERE'S LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, BECAUSE WE NEED THIS SYSTEM TO BE OPERATIONAL.

THE THING THAT IS THERE NOW IS CERTAINLY THE RIDERS SAYING, OKAY, WE'VE HAD ENOUGH NOW.

THEY ARE TWEETING, THEY'RE ACTIVISTS, THERE ARE GROUPS THAT ARE TOGETHER.

I THINK THE TIDE IS DEFINITELY ROLLING IN THAT DIRECTION.

AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME IMPROVEMENTS.

THEY'RE GOING TO TRY SOME THINGS, AND I'LL KEEP ASKING ABOUT THAT.

GREG, WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK TO TELL US ABOUT IT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

BE SURE TO LOGON TO OUR NEW WEBSITE DAYS OF DELAYS.ORG FOR THE LATEST ON WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE DAILY COMMUTE AND TO SHARE YOUR OWN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION STORY.

WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

Funders

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