After riding the New York City subway for the first time in months, Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to be aligning himself with its many frustrated riders, and taking a more hands-on approach to the problem.
de Blasio was seen by fellow riders on Twitter travelling uptown to the Museum of Natural History on the C train for an event. Recently, he has faced criticism for driving with his entourage from Gracie Mansion to his favorite YMCA in Park Slope, Brooklyn almost daily. The mayor has responded to these claims by saying he always takes the “easiest” mode of transportation.
After riding on the subway, some of the angst felt by riders seemed to rub off on de Blasio. The next day, when asked by reporters about the subway’s latest set of crises, de Blasio had a much more aggressive response ready than in the past, saying that the “the delays are mounting… the disruptions are mounting”. Continuing that attack against the MTA, he said that the authority was not directing money at the subways “sufficiently”, and that he would personally be “focusing on the MTA a lot more”. de Blasio even went as far as to say that he was considering a plan to take over the subways from the MTA, stating that, “… if the MTA will not fix the problem, I’d rather have the City of New York run it”. This is in stark contrast to how the mayor has typically responded to such claims, usually passing on such questions to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who controls the state-run authority.
It remains to be seen how this will affect de Blasio’s future actions regarding the subway and the MTA.