New signals for the aging subway system, despite a new push from the M.T.A.’s top leadership, may be still be lingering distantly in the future.
The City Council is gearing up for a full-court press on providing half-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers, known as “Fair Fares,” which is part of its just-released budget proposal for the next year.
Early Saturday morning, the New York State Assembly and Senate put the finishing touches on a far-reaching $168 billion budget–one with significant impacts for downstate transportation.
Last Tuesday, a top union official was removed from his post following turmoil inside of TWU Local 100 over new M.T.A. staff changes and initiatives that are part of the $836 million Subway Action Plan.
At Wednesday’s M.T.A. board meeting, the authority’s board members continued the new trend of taking more responsibility for reforming the hobbled agency, without necessarily having the air cover of the politicians that appointed them.
Early Tuesday morning, an M.T.A. track worker died after falling from a perch inside the tunnel that carries the 4/5/6 trains near 125 Street in Harlem.
St. Clair Ziare Richards-Stephens, 23, died at the scene, according to the police.
Mr. Richards-Stephens was performing track maintenance, when he fell through the wood railing lining the tunnel, and landed on his head. He had only been working at New York City Transit for six months.
“These are the days you dread,” said Andy Byford, president of New York City Transit.
Tony Utano, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents thousands of M.T.A. employees, noted that “this is a sad day for transit workers.”
Both men promised a full investigation into what went wrong, and led to Richards-Stephens’ death.