THE $19 BILLION SUBWAY FIX

June 13, 2018 at 4:30 am

A decade of transit delays looms for New Yorkers as the subway system is repaired. But, will Governor Cuomo approve the $19 billion price tag that comes with it?

Aired on June 12, 2018. 

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>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
METROFOCUS.
I'M RAFAEL PI RAMP.
THE NEWLY PROPOSED PLAN TO
RESCUE THE CITY'S DEKAYING AND
OFTEN RERELIABLE SUBWAY SYSTEM
IS PROVING A KEY ISSUE IN THE
GOVERNOR RACE.
WHILE CYNTHIA HAS GIVEN HER OWN
PLAN.
THE GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS ENDORSED
ANDY BYFORD'S.
AT LOUISIANA ESTIMATED COST OF
$19 BILLION, THE PLAN FOCUSES ON
MODERNIZING THE SIGNAL SYSTEM,
IMPROVING THE WHEELCHAIR
ACCESSIBILITY AND IMPROVING
MANAGEMENT.
UNDER THE PLAN ENTIRE LINES
WOULD BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE ON
OVERNIGHT AND WEEKEND HOURS TO
ACCOMMODATE THE UPGRADES.
A FRIGHTENING PROKT FOR MANY.
HERE TO DISCUSS THE POTENTIAL
AND RAMIFICATIONS IS BENJAMIN
KAY BECK THE AUTHOR OF THE
SECOND AVENUE SAGA BLOG WHICH
KEEPS A CLOSE EYE ON THE
UNDERGROUND POLITICS OF THE
SUBWAY SYSTEM.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS.
>> BEFORE THE POLITICAL
RAMIFICATIONS EXPLAIN TO US A
LITTLE BIT WHAT THE PLAN
ACTUALLY ENTAILS AND DOES IT HIT
ALL THE CRITICAL ISSUES FACING
OUR SYSTEM?
>> SURE.
SO THE PLAN REALLY ADDRESSES A
PROBLEM THE SUBWAYS HAVE HAD FOR
MANY YEARS, IF NOT DECADES AT
THIS POINT.
IT'S NOT A VERY MODERN SYSTEM.
IT'S NOT BASED ON CURRENT
TECHNOLOGY.
A LOT OF THE PROGRAMS O PROBLEMS
THAT NEW YORKERS EXPERIENCE IS
BECAUSE THE SYSTEM IS SO OLD.
THE SIGNALS BREAK DOWN AND THESE
WERE SIGNALS BUILT IN THE '30s.
THE PARTS ARE HARD TO COME BY.
HELD TOGETHER WITH SCOTCH TAPE
AND A LITTLE SPIT AT THIS POINT.
WHAT BYFORD DOES IS ADDRESS THAT
PROBLEM.
SAYING WE'RE ATTACKING IT AND
INSTEAD OF IN 40 YEARS WE'RE
DOING IT IN FIVE OR TEN YEARS.
THERE MIGHT BE PAIN IN THE
INTERIM BUT THAT'S THE
CENTERPIECE.
>> WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE PAIN BUT
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STRERNSZ 40
AS YOU SAID IN TEEN YEERPS HE
PLANS TODAY WHAT THE MTA SAID
WILL TAKE 40.
WHY THE DISPARITY.
>> THE PLAN WAS A LITTLE LIGHT
HOW THEY'RE GOING TO DO IT IN
THE SHORTER TIME.
IF YOU TAKE MORE OF THE LINES
OUT OF SERVICE FOR SORT OF
CONCENTRATED PERIODS OF TIME YOU
CAN GO IN AND ATTACK THEM AND
GET THE WORK DONE FASTER.
IT WILL REQUIRE PEOPLE TO HAVE
TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO ROUTES.
>> HOW TOUGH -- HOW TOUGH WILL
IT BE FOR THE --
>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
>> IF IT HAPPENS.
>> IF IT HAPPENS.
THAT'S THE KEY QUESTION.
WE DON'T KNOW.
I THINK PEOPLE WILL FIND THAT
WEEKEND SERVICE MIGHT NOT EXIST
AT ALL ON SOME LINEUPS.
THESE DAYS YOU JUGGLE SERVICE
CHANGES BUT THEY MIGHT SAY WE'RE
SHUTTING DOWN FROM FRIDAY NIGHT.
>> IT'S NOT LIKE IT HASN'T
HAPPENED.
I LIVE IN BROOKLYN DEPENDING ON
THE TWO AND THREE TO GET ME
HERE.
THEY HAVEN'T RUN ON WEEKENDS FOR
A YEAR.
>> A YEAR AND A HALF.
>> NEW YORK PRETENDS PEOPLE
DON'T WORK THE WEEKENDS.
>> IT'S JUST A CHALLENGE FOR A
LOT OF COMMUTES.
>> ARE THERE CONTINGENCY PLANS.
>> THEY DIDN'T GET INTO THE
DETAILS OF THAT.
BUT THEY TALKED ABOUT
SUBSTITUTING BUS SERVICE WHICH
IS NOT PARTICULARLY SATISFYING.
ADDING SERVICE ON OTHER LINES TO
PICK UP THE LOAD.
BUT PEOPLE WILL HAVE PROBLEM
ZBLOOTS DOES THE $19 BILLION
PROVIDES TAG?
DOES THAT SEEM LIKE IT'S RIGHT?
>> I THINK IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S
RIGHT.
THERE HASN'T BEEN A DOLLAR TO
DOLLAR MATCH AND WHAT EVERYTHING
IS GOING TOWARDS.
AND THERE WERE OTHER NUMBERS
THROWN AROUND.
SOMEBODY MENTIONED $31 BILLION
FOR TEN YEARS AND -- IT'S A BIG
ASK.
>> WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE
GOVERNOR'S INITIAL TEPP I HAD
RESPONSE TO THE PROPOSAL BY THE
GUY HE PUT IN PLACE TO MAKE THE
PLAN.
>> I WAS DISAPPOINTED.
AS YOU SAID HE BEIRUT IN ANDY
BYFORD TO FIX THE SUBWAYS.
YOU HAD TO KNOW IT WASN'T EASY
AND CUOMO FOR PMZ FAMOUS FOR
BEING A MICROMANAGER KNEW WHAT
WAS COMING.
FOR HIM TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM
IT WAS A BIT DISAPING.
>> WHY DID HE DO IT.
>> HE DOESN'T WANT THE RESTRICT
PREDICTLE RISK OF SAYING WE'RE
SHUTTING DOWN THE SUBWAY.
>> WHAT'S THE RISK.
>> IT'S A GREAT RISK.
>> KNICKS ISN'T BECOMING PUBLIC.
>> SHE WENT FORWARD WITH HER
PLAN SAYING I'M SUPPORTING
BYFORD'S PLAN.
BILL DE BLASIO'S MILLIONAIRE
TAX.
AND WE NEED TO FIX IT.
>> BYFORD COMES DIRECTLY FROM
TOR
TORONTO BEFORE THAT LONDON OEN
WHERE HE UPGRADED SYSTEMS.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM THAT
WILL TELL US WHETHER HE CAN
WEATHER THE STORMS COMING.
>> TORONTO IS NOT AN EASY CITY.
THEY'VE HAD FIRE BRAND MAYORS
AND THEY'VE HAD THEIR POLITICS.
HE RISES ABOVE IT.
HIS APPROACH IS TO SAY I'M
OPERATIONALLY I'M NOT HERE TO
FIGHT THE POLITICAL FIGHT.
YOU HANDLE THAT I'M JUST TELLING
WHAT YOU YOU NEED TO DO AND
HOPEFULLY YOU'LL SUPPORT ME.
I THINK 80s VERY SMART POSITION.
>> YOU MENTIONED THE GOVERNOR
WAS A MICROMANAGER.
ANY POSSIBILITY THAT THE
GOVERNOR WILL LET BYFORD DO WHAT
HE WANTS.
>> I THINK COUPLE O A'S LEGACY
WILL HIPPING ON IT.
AND IF HE CAN OVERCOME THE FACT
THAT THERE IS PAIN IT WILL HELP
DONE DOWN THE ROAD.
>> PROBABLY KNOWS BETTER THAN
YOU NOBODY CAN GUESS BETTER THAN
YOU, IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN?
>> I THINK IT WILL HAPPEN.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF BACK
AND FORTH.
THERE IS SOME FIGHTS BETWEEN
DOWN STATE LEGISLATORS AND
UPSTATE LEGISLATORS TO FUND IT.
YOU HAVE TO SEE PEOPLE PULLING
CUOMO TO GET THERE BUT
ULTIMATELY IT WILL HAPPEN.
>> BEN THANK YOU, SO MUCH.
I MADE IT IN TIME RIDING THE
SUBWAY FOR THE INTERVIEW.
MAYBE IN TEN YEARS WE WON'T HAVE
TO WORRY ABOUT IT THANKS FOR
JOINING US.
>> THANK YOU.

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Funders

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