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Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Constituent Agencies.

Safety.  Safety is a concept virtually unknown to the MTA.  A case in point is the Metro North Commerce Street crash where a crossing gate came down on a vehicle.  To any normal person, that would indicate that there was a problem, and that any train traffic should stop immediately.  And further, the situation is too critical to leave to the train operator.  The signal system should have stopped the train, but it did not because it wasn’t designed to do that.

Of course, even if the gate had not hit the vehicle, it is not too difficult to detect a vehicle on the tracks, but it that is just too much trouble for the MTA to install such equipment.  And Metro North and Long Island Railroad personnel believe that it smacks of “red light / green light” which is how they derisively name the much safer New York City Transit Authority.

Another problem is train stopping distances.  “Railroad” trains take far too long to stop – by design.  You will find a discussion on this subject on the Federal Railroad Administration page.

General MTA Issues.

What does the the $836 million spent for the MTA buy us? (Costs and Revenue)

Why can I generally drive into Manhattan and arrive at my destination more quickly than if I used MTA facilities?

What percentage of costs does each mass transit agency pay out of the fare box?  Does the NYC subway system subsidize the LIRR and Metro North?  Should it?

Are there overall efficiencies in the MTA's mass transit operations, or are they an environmental and / or social negative?  i.e., Is more money and energy spent heating their buildings, moving empty equipment, etc. used than the savings inherent in mass transit?  What if the money were spent on more parking so vehicles could come to Manhattan and park?

The MTA has a great many problems, and money is the least of them.  After all, these are the people who made a billion (or was it two billion) dollars disappear renovating 2 Broadway.  These are the people who gave us the Second Avenue subway project -- to be compared to the city run #7 Line extension.

The MTA wants to "modernize" the 1930 era Transit Authority signal system.  What's wrong with it?  Is the complaint that it absolutely prevents crashes even if the train operator tries to crash a train (except for MTA designed alterations)? Does the MTA have an signal system at least as good on the LIRR and Metro North?

After they spend millions or billions on a subway station renovation, is it any more functional?

Just watch their bus drivers.  Bus lines are laid out to require that drivers violate the Vehicle and Traffic Law.  What discipline is there when a drive stops 3' from he curb when the bus stop is wide open?

Why are there empty EZ-Pass lanes at Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority facilities while cash lanes are backed up for half a mile?  Is it part of the MTA plan to increase air pollution?