With Donald Trump on his mind, Mayor de Blasio yesterday unveiled his $89 billion fiscal plan – a blueprint that also keeps a very nasty fight with Governor Cuomo over the subways very much intact.
The governor and the mayor are engaged in a game of mass-transit chicken, each demanding that the other pony up more money to improve the situation for straphangers.
Cuomo’s team wants City Hall to pony up an additional $400 million for the MTA. In his budget presentation yesterday, de Blasio is saying no way.
While it’s true that the MTA is a creature of the state -- and in Cuomo’s case “puppet of the state” might be a better description – City Hall needs to at least come up with a game plan for Albany lawmakers and the governor to embrace or reject.
The MTA budget blame game is hardly unique to the Cuomo-de Blasio era. There’s more than a little irony that current MTA boss Joe Lhota was sitting on the other side of the table when he worked for Mayor Giuliani and City Hall didn’t want to foot the bill for student Metrocards while Governor Pataki pushed back.
If the city was facing a natural disaster or a massive upsurge in crime, it would be unconscionable for our elected leaders to say “not me” when asked for help. Why should our subways be any different?