As part of our ongoing series on Mayor Bill de Blasio's record, this week we are taking a close look at his transportation agenda — everything from subways to bike lanes to ferries. NY1 Political Reporter Grace Rauh filed the following report.
New York is a crowded city, and navigating it by car, bus, taxi, bike, subway, on foot, or ferry can be tricky.
The subways, for instance, seemed to deteriorate right before riders' eyes this year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo controls the MTA, but de Blasio is still at the center of the fight over funding for the system.
"It's important for New Yorkers to know that I'm fighting for these changes for the MTA," de Blasio said July 23 while riding on an F train.
De Blasio has refused to put more city dollars into fixing the subways, arguing that the state is treating the MTA's budget like its own piggy bank. Instead, he wants a new tax on New Yorkers who make more than $500,000 a year to pay for improvements.
City streets, meanwhile, are clogged and congested. But the mayor is not a fan of proposals to charge drivers to enter Manhattan, a push that is aimed to discourage driving.
"I've never been in favor of this strategy," de Blasio said August 21.
De Blasio turned to the water to for help, launching NYC Ferry. For the price of a subway ride, New Yorkers can travel by boat between Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
"We are going to find out how much potential there is here," the mayor said August 29. "If there's more and more interest in this, it's worth the investment."
He has also expanded CitiBike and added miles of new bike lanes.
Then, there's the question of street safety.
"Traffic fatalities are down about 20 percent since he took office," said Paul Steely White of the group Transportation Alternatives. "In terms of lives saved, over 100 New Yorkers are alive today that wouldn't otherwise be alive, because the mayor has made our streets safer."
But White said there is more to be done. As of Monday, there were 172 people who died from traffic-related collisions so far this year — which means de Blasio has a long way to go to meet his goal of zero traffic deaths in the city by 2024.