Urban History

This document accompanies my urban history studies. Focus will be placed on all financial aspects of public policy, particularly those of New York City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

William Wheeler passes away

  • Date: October 27, 2018
  • Involved in A LOT
    • Oversaw MetroCard adoption
    • Recommended countdown clocks
    • Helped secure federal financing for Fulton Center
    • Assisted with air rights over Hudson and Atlantic yards
    • Tried to link planning to retail development and require property owners near subways to pay for improvements
  • Source: Sam Roberts, "William Wheeler, New York Mass Transit Visionary, Dies at 69," The New York Times, October 31, 2018. link
  • Tags: mta people wheeler

Housing Act of 1954

  • Date: 1954
  • Series of amendments to Housing Act of 1934
  • Based on the Illinois Urban Community Conservation Act of 1953
    • Radical because for the first time blight prevention, not just removal was defined as a "public purpose" and cause for invoking eminent domain
  • Drafted by University of Chicago and Chicago Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council (MHPC) leaders to provide federal funding for their local urban renewal projects
  • Source: Beryl Satter, "Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America", 2009, pp50-51.
  • Tags: federal-housing-policy

Federal Home Loan Bank Act

  • Date: July 22, 1932
  • Intended to lower the cost of home ownership
  • Established the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and Federal Home Loan Banks
    • To charter federal savings and loans, and lend to financial institutions to indirectly finance home mortgages
  • "Public Law 304 was ineffective."
  • "...to establish a credit reserve for mortgage lenders and thus to increase the supply of capital in the housing market."
  • Source: Kenneth T. Jackson, "Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States", 1985, pp194.
  • Tags: federal-housing-policy hoover

Housing Act of 1949

  • Date: 1949
  • Part of Harry Truman's Fair Deal
  • Five main elements
    • Federal financing for slum clearance
    • Increased authorization for FHA mortgage insurance
    • Federal funding for public housing units
    • Funding for research on building techniques
    • Financing for farm housing
  • Direct inspiration from Blighted Areas Redevelopment act of Illinois
    • Created a Land Clearance Commission
      • Could acquire land in blighted areas, demolish structures, and sell at a discount to private investors who would bulid profitable structures
    • Illinois Relocation Act was passed at the same time
      • Provided money to build public housing for 15% of those displaced by urban renewal
  • Source: Beryl Satter, "Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America", 2009, pp47-49.
  • Tags: fair-deal federal-housing-policy

Housing Act of 1937

  • Date: 1937
  • Also called Wagner-Steagall Act
  • Created the United States Housing Authority within Department of the Interior
  • Lent money for low-cost construction to states and localities
  • Tags: federal-housing-policy new-deal

Home Owners' Loan Corporation

  • Date: 1933
  • Refinancing for nonfarm home mortgages in default
    • To prevent foreclosure
  • Borrower offered loan over longer period with lower interest rate
  • HOLC purchased mortgage loans from lenders and refinanced for the borrowers
    • Was favorable for lenders because entire remaining purchase price was bought, plus taxes
  • Tags: fdr federal-housing-policy new-deal

French-American company awarded car contract, MTA floats first bonds

  • New cars ordered: R68s
    • New cars would have flat stainless steel exteriors to be easy to clean graffiti off of
    • Order was $210mil, or $933k per sar
      • Previous orders from Canadian and Japanese companies were $800k per car, but for smaller cars (IRT)
    • Final assembly performed at Brooklyn Army Terminal
    • Westinghouse-Amrail is a joint venture of Westinghouse of Pittsburgh and Francorail
  • NYCTA completed sale of first revenue-backed bonds
    • To be used for capital program, including the subway cars ordered
    • Sold $250mil of bonds at annual rate of 9.7%
    • Prevoius car orders from Bombardier and Kawasaki included financing from Canadian and Japanese governments because MTA did not believe they could raise money through bond market at favorable rates
    • Bonds were rated BBB+ from S&P
    • Ravitch was hoping for 14%, elated to get 9.7%
    • "The $250 million issue is the first of $1.6 billion in revenue bonds the M.T.A. plans to float. Over the 30-year life of the bonds, the debt service is expected to add less than 20 cents to the fare, Mr. Ravitch said. However, he added, if ridership or government subsidies increase, the impact on the fare could be lower."
  • Source: Ari Goldman, "FRENCH-U.S. CONCERN GRANTED M.T.A. PACT FOR 225 SUBWAY CARS," The New York Times, October 15, 1982. link
  • Tags: bonds mta ravitch

CBCNY report on maintaining useful life of subway cars

  • 2008 budget cuts extended car rehab cycles from every 6 and 12 year periods to every 7 and 14 years
    • Resulted in 150 fewer cars rehabilitated annually
  • Another 2008 cut resulted in inspection cycles for all but 2 oldest car models being increased from every 11k miles (~71 days) to 12k miles (~78 days)
  • Delivery of R188s was delayed 6 months due to test track in Far Rockaway damaged during Sandy
  • NYCT needs 125 new cars annually, only received 23 annually between 2011 and 2017
  • Source: "Getting Back on Track: Replacing and Repairing Subway Cars Will Be Expensive and Take More Than a Decade," Citizens Budget Commission, July 2018. link
  • Tags: cbcny dague reports

Subway areas closed due to crime

  • NYCTA planned to close the areas within 7 days without public hearings or MTA approval
  • "For January of this year, subway crime declined by more than 20 percent. The transit police say the number dropped because of a crackdown on fare dvasion that prevented people who would commit more serious crimes from entering the subway."
    • Bratton had become transit police chief in 1990!
  • Woman was raped on March 20 in tunnel beneath Avenue of the Americas to connect 34th and 42nd St stations
  • Some sections closed were paths between uptown and downtown at local stations
    • Did this lead to some of the "Downtown Only" stations we have today?
    • TA said paths at express stations would not be closed
  • Source: Calvin Sims, "15 More Areas in Subways To Be Closed," The New York Times, March 29, 1991. link
  • Tags: mta stations

Seventh Avenue Subway spur to 34th St opens

  • Date: June 3, 1917
  • Pennsylvania Terminal was expected to be a local station
  • "When complete the road will convey a passenger without change from Van Cortland Park to New Lots, on Long Island."
  • New track said to be smoother than old track and had a raised footpath built alongside the track, in case of emergency
  • IRT officials opened 8-block spur to handle daily traffic to Pennsylvania Station
  • Source: "Open Subway Spur to 34th Street," The New York Times, June 4, 1917. link
  • Tags: expansion irt

Transfer opens between Broadway-Lafayette and Uptown trains at Bleecker

  • Construction approved in 2005
  • Downtown transfer between IRT and IND was built in 1957
    • Bleecker platforms were not directly across from each other (northbound more north)
  • Source: Matt Flegenheimer, "A Vexing Flaw in the Subway Is Finally Fixed," The New York Times, September 23, 2012. link
  • Source: Sewell Chan, "With Connection on No. 6 Line, a Manhattan Transfer Is Coming," The New York Times, May 7, 2005. link
  • Tags: mta stations

Mayor McClellan takes first subway ride

  • Date: January 1, 1094
  • People
    • Mayor McClellan
    • Contractor John B. McDonald
    • Frederick Underwood, President of Erie Railroad
    • Chief Engineer William Barclay Parsons
  • Most stations not quite complete yet
  • The Lenox Avenue line had also been built already
    • Left via express tracks dropping below and east of local tracks north of 96th St
  • Source: "On Handcars Through Six Miles of Subway," The New York Times, January 2, 1904. link
  • Tags: expansion irt mcclellan

Rapid Transit Act of 1894

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1894/11/06/106878996.html?pageNumber=4 https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1894/11/08/106839825.html?pageNumber=4 https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1894/04/29/106829861.html?pageNumber=4 https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1894/11/08/106839863.html?pageNumber=8

MTA credit rating downgraded to A

  • Outstanding debt 2.5 times size of projected revenue for 2018
  • S&P indicated a sustainable source of funding needed to prevent more downgrages
  • A is five ratings above junk
  • Source: Alexandra Scaggs, "New York's MTA downgraded by S&P," Financial Times, August 9, 2018. link
  • Tags: credit-rating

Penn orders high-speed coaches

First air-conditioned subway cars

  • Trial run of 4 cars (in a 10-car train) on the F train
    • From 179th in Jamaica to Lafayette Street in Manhattan
    • Did the F stop at Broadway Lafayette?
  • System had total of 4k cars
  • Lindsay hoped cars would decrease hostility index
  • Lindsay wanted to order 200 more cars for 1969 if trial was a success
  • Cost expected to be $165k, compared to $125k for non-air conditioned car
  • Walter Schlager was general manager of NYCTA
    • Said air-conditioned subway train required about 1/3 more power than conventional train
    • Would require new substations to provide additional power
  • Source: Murray Schumach, "Hostility Melts in Cool 'F' Train," The New York Times, July 20, 1967. link
  • Tags: air-conditioning lindsay

Lindsay Timeline from Viteritti book

  • 1966 June 25 - U.S. Government closes Brooklyn Navy Yard; nine thousand jobs lost.
  • 1966 July 1 - NY State Legislature and Governor Rockefeller, after much political dispute, approve JVL's proposed city income tax and a historic commuter tax.
  • 1966 July 5 - To finance the settlement of a transit strike, subway and bus fares increase from 15 cents to 20 cents.
  • 1967 July 6 - The Ford Foundation grants $135,000 to three school districts to experiment with "community control" in East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn.
  • 1967 July 12 - City Council approves Lindsay's first superagency, the Human Resources Administration.
  • 1967 July 19 - At the mayor's insistence, the first air-conditioned subway train is put into service on the F line. It would take twenty-five years to convert the entire fleet.
  • 1967 December 7 - Special Theatre Zoning District adopted, with incentives that produce three new theatres, the first in 40 years, and a 54-story One Astor Place, hoping to spur the rebirth of Times Square.
  • 1968 April 25 - JVL and Governor Rockefeller announce memorandum of understanding to allow Battery Park City to be built on landfill.
  • 1968 July 1 - NYC introduces nation's first 911 police emergency number
  • 1969 April 24 - Lincoln Square Zoning District enacted so that future development complements new Lincoln Center.
  • 1969 April 27 - State legislature approves Lindsay plan to create an independent Health and Hospitals Corporation to manage city' hospital system.
  • 1969 April 30 - State legislature passes the School Decentralization Act, which divides the city school system into thirty-one (later thirty-two) districts with elected community boards.
  • 1969 May 6 - Lindsay's Rent Stabilization Law enacted by City Council places more than one million apartments under rent regulation that is still in effect.
  • 1969 July 16 - JVL kills Robert Moses' plan for the Lower Manhattan Expressway through SoHo.
  • 1969 October 16 - JVL celebrates in locker room of Miracle Mets
  • 1969 November 24 - Construction begins on 63rd Street Tunnel under East River, a Lindsay and Rockefeller joint project with two subway tracks to Queens and two LIRR tracks for future use as East Side Access to Grand Central Station.
  • 1970 January 12 - JVL approves start of Third Water Tunnel, the largest construction project in the city's history, now scheduled for completion in 2020.
  • 1970 April 11 - New York State law legalizing abortions up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy is signed by Governor Rockefeller, replacing 1830 statute permitting abortions only to save the mother's life.
  • 1970 June 4 - JVL creates Office of Neighborhood Government (ONG)
  • 1971 January 22 - Lindsay's proposed Taxi and Limosine Commission (TLC) approved by City Council to regulate yellow medallion taxis and black cars; ends oversight by Police Department Hack Bureau.
  • 1971 January 28 - After Lower Manhattan Expressway proposed by Robert Moses is rejected, city amends zoning to allow certified artists to live-work in SoHo. Later (1973) landmarked as SoHo Cast Iron Historic District.
  • 1972 August 10 - Deputy Mayor Edward Hamilton launches Productivity Program to develop management information systems and upgrade agency performance, forming basis for current Mayor's Management Report.
  • 1972 October 27 - Groundbreaking for the Second Avenue Subway.
  • 1973 January 3 - George Steinbrenner leads group that buys the Yankees from CBS for $10 million.
  • 1973 September 24 - JVL renames Welfare Island as Roosevelt Island in honor of FDR.
  • 1973 October 5 - City approves purchase of 197-acre Howland Hook Containership Terminal as part of effort to revive port.
  • Source: Joseph P. Viteritti, "Summer in the City: John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream", February 25, 2014, pp241-265.
  • Tags: books lindsay viteritti

School bonds bill passes in Albany

  • Tax-exempt bonds allowed for apartment or office construction above schools
  • Part of Board of Education's 10 year, $1.5bil construction program
  • Created a NYC educational construction fund to float the bonds
  • Debt to be unlimited and outside the city's debt limit
  • Source: "Major Bills in Legislature," The New York Times, July 6, 1966. link
  • Source: Sydney H. Schanberg, "ALBANY GETS BILL FOR SCHOOL BONDS," The New York Times, June 2, 1966. link
  • Source: Douglas Robinson, "School-Apartment Bill Wins Approval," The New York Times, July 6, 1966. link
  • Tags: education lindsay rockefeller

India gets World Bank credit for railroads

  • $68mil credit came as first international aid since conflict with Pakistan
  • International Development Association was affiliate for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or World Bank
  • Source: Gerd Wilcke, "INDIA GETS A LOAN FOR RAIL SYSTEM," The New York Times, June 30, 1966. link
  • Tags: indian-railways

Rockfeller proposes what would become MTA

  • MCTA had been formed in 1965 to buy and operate Long Island Rail Road
  • Ronan was MCTA chair
  • Rockefeller's plan would be designed to avoid legal questions about rights of Triborough bondholders
  • Source: "Rockefller Seeks Regional Agency to Direct Transit," The New York Times, June 3, 1966. link
  • Tags: mta-formation rockefeller ronan

Lindsay's transportation plan

  • Would merge Transit Authority and Triborough
  • Would provide mayor with veto power
  • This ended up not happening because of Rockefeller's own plan
  • Source: Richard Witken, "Lindsay and 'the Moses Problem'," The New York Times, March 20, 1966. link
  • Source: "Rockefller Seeks Regional Agency to Direct Transit," The New York Times, June 3, 1966. link
  • Tags: lindsay mta-formation

Commuter Tax and City Income tax approved in state legislature

  • Commuter tax and city income tax enacted as part of $253 city tax package
  • Source: Richard L. Madden, "Councile Votes Income Tax After Albany's Approval; Medicaid's Scope Reduced," The New York Times, July 2, 1966. link
  • Tags: taxes

New Yorker on Andy Byford's first 6 months

  • Source: William Finnegan, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," The New Yorker, July 9, 2018. link
  • Tags: byford

Supreme Court upholds Transit Commission decision to deny IRT 7 cent fare

  • Source: "Decision is Climax of Long Litigation," The New York Times, April 9, 1929. link
  • Tags: fares irt

Dual Contracts signed

  • Date: March 19, 1913
  • People
    • Theodore Shonts, President of IRT
    • George McAneny, Manhattan Borough President
  • New York Municipal Railway was subsidiary of Brooklyn Rapid Transit (later BMT)
  • Source: "Subway Contracts Solemnly Signed," The New York Times, March 20, 1913. link
  • Tags: bmt dual-contracts expansion irt mcaneny

IND employees entered civil service

  • Date: 1935
  • Board of Transportation had completed construction of the IND subway in 1932
  • Source: kheel
  • Tags: ind labor

Worker Killed on Seventh Avenue Line

Janno Lieber becomes MTA Chief Development Offficer

  • Was at Silverstein Properties
  • Source: Emma Fitzsimmons, "World Trade Center Developer to Oversee M.T.A. Expansion Projects," The New York Times, April 19, 2017. link
  • Tags: lieber mta mta-leadership todo

David Gunn leaves MTA

  • Source: William G. Blair, "Gunn to Leave Transit Agency; Says System Is Now Acceptable," The New York Times, January 6, 1990. link
  • Tags: gunn mta mta-leadership todo

Portal Bridge replacement mulled

  • Source: Patrick McGeehan, "104-Year-Old Portal Bridge Presents $900 Million Problem for Rail Commuters," The New York Times, September 25, 2014. link
  • Tags: northeast-corridor portal-bridge

RPA proposes extending Hudson tunnels to Long Island

  • Proposal includes:
    • Through running tracks from New Jersey to Long Island
      • similar to existing Hudson Tunnels?
    • Expanding Penn Station south a block to 30th St
    • New bus terminal under the Javits Center
    • New bus terminal in Midtown for long distance buses
  • RPA Fourth Plan coming out later in 2017
  • Source: Patrick McGeehan, "Transit Group Proposes Extending Gateway Project to Reach Long Island," The New York Times, August 16, 2017. link
  • Tags: hudson-tunnels rpa

Christie kills Hudson tunnel

  • Date: October 6, 2010
  • Source: Patrick McGeehan, "Christie Halts Train Tunnel, Citing Its Cost," The New York Times, October 7, 2010. link
  • Tags: christie hudson-tunnels

Andy Byford named president of MTA New York City Transit

  • Byford caught Cuomo's eye after his participation in the 2014 MTA Reinvention Commission
  • Byford "first rode the New York City subway in 1994 when he was on his honeymoon and 'marveled at its complexity.'"
  • Byford will oversee about 47,000 employees at NYCT
  • Alumni of London and Sydney's transit networks
  • He brought open gangway cars to TTC
  • Source: Marc Santora, "Toronto Transit Chief Is Tapped to Run New York’s Ailing Subways," The New York Times, November 21, 2017. link
  • Tags: byford mta mta-leadership

Park Slope Rezoned, Height allowed on Forth Avenue

  • Plan would put restrictions on development to be similar to existing 3-4 shtory Victorian town houses
  • Plan would also allow for 12-story buildings on Forth Avenue
  • Broad medians on Forth likened to Park Avenue
  • Council member de Blasio wanted more incentives for affordable housing
  • City Planning Commission chairwoman said plan did not have inclusionary zoning
  • Source: Alan S. Oser, "Rezoning, and Redefining, Park Slope," The New York Times, December 28, 2003. link
  • Source: Diane Cardwell, "Highs and Lows in Park Slope Rezoning Plan," The New York Times, April 2, 2003. link
  • Tags: park-slope rezoning

Pennslyvania Railroad receives approval for terminal and tunnels

Rockefeller proposes state take over Harlem and Hudson lines

  • Rockefeller also announced modernization plans, pending legislative approval of the bond authority
    • not sure what bond authority is here
  • Purchase of 80 new Penn Central cars finances with $21mil in bonds through New York State Commuter Car Program
    • NYS CCP administered by Port Authority, which was then still called the Port of New York Authority
    • Port Authority would buy cars and lease them to the state
  • Rest of modernization financed by $44mil in bonds from State Transportation Bond Fund
  • Ronan said Penn Central would manage the line under MTA's direction, and MTA would pay them for maintenance and oprating costs, which would be paid out of operating revenue
  • Plans for take-over started with state transit master plan in 1968
  • Source: Bill Kovach, "STATE TO ACQUIRE 2 COMMUTER RUNS," The New York Times, April 17, 1970. link
  • Tags: metro-north penn-central rockefeller ronan

Ross Sandler

  • Koch administration's "in-house expert on public transportation"
  • Source: Ed Koch, "Mayor", 1984, pp334.
  • Tags: koch people

Fare remains at $2.50, but week and month pass rise

  • Date: December 30, 2010
  • Base fare remains at $2.25 [1]
    • Though single ride increases to $2.50
      • is this the first time they have diverged?
    • 30-day unlimited increases from $89 to $104
    • 7-day unlimited increases from $27 to $29
    • Time-based passes will remain unlimited, after board rejected a ride-capping proposal
    • A third of riders use 30-day passes
    • Fare increase expected to increase revenues by 7.5%
      • Earlier 2010 service cuts were due to budget deficit caused by lower tax revenue and cut in state funding
    • 30-day (month) pass cost $63 a month when introduced in 1998
      • Has increased 65% in 12 years, far greater than inflation
    • Bonus drops to 7%
  • Source: Michael M. Grynbaum, "M.T.A. Approves Transit Fare Increases," The New York Times, October 7, 2010. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta walder

2015 MTA Budget

  • Source: Emma G. Fitzsimmons, "M.T.A. Approves Budget, but Deal Cuts 2nd Ave. Line Funding," The New York Times, October 28, 2015. link
  • Tags: budget mta second-avenue todo

New Fare Payment Technology

  • Source: Emma G. Fitzsimmons, "From Swipes to Taps: A Look at the End for MetroCards," The New York Times, April 18, 2016. link
  • Tags: fare-payment mta todo

Fare remains at $2.75, but week and month pass rise

  • Date: March 19, 2017
  • Base fare remains $2.75, bonus lowered from 11% to 5%
  • Weekly pass increases from $31 to $32
  • Monthly pass increases from $116.50 to $121
  • Source: Emma G. Fitzsimmons, "M.T.A. Votes to Raise Fares and Tolls: What You Need to Know," The New York Times, January 25, 2017. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

Ravitch named MTA chairman

  • Source: Leslie Maitland, "Carey Asks Richard Ravitch to Be Head of the M.T.A.," The New York Times, October 12, 1979. link
  • Tags: chairmen mta ravitch

Trump ends safe harbor provisions for cities to manage private-sector pensions

  • Source: Hazel Bradford, "Trump signs bill ending safe harbor for city secure choice programs," Pensions & Investments, April 14, 2017. link
  • Tags: federal pension-policy

Program Planners Study on Federal Operating Assistance

  • NYCTA received 7.5% of operating budget from federal aid ($127mil of $1.7bil) versus 17.6% for LA [1]
    • Study by Program Planners Inc and Jack Bigel (yes, the one from union talks)
    • Reagan was proposing ending federal operating assistance for mass transit in 1985
    • Studied cities with 1000 or more revenue vehicles
      • LA, Philadephia, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco, NY
    • Federal operating assistance formula revised in 1978 to give weight to cities with greater than 750k people and rail systems
    • Federal operating assistance totaled $1.0939bil in 1980, 30.2% of government aid
      • State assistance was $820.4mil, local assistance was $1.7039bil
    • Ravitch says fares cover 55% of MTA's $2.5bil operating budget (all modes)
      • Local and state subsidies cover 37%
      • Local taxes, which have increases with lowering of federal assistance, are "much less progressive than the Federal income tax"
    • New York's fare was 75 cents at the time
  • Source: Peter Kihss, "CITY SAID TO TRAIL IN U.S. TRANSIT AID," The New York Times, June 6, 1982. link
  • Tags: bigel city-assistance federal-assistance mta ravitch report state-assistance

HUD Vouchers

  • Source: Michael Winerip, "In New York,, H.U.D.'s Vouchers Pay for Already Cheap Housing," The New York Times, December 31, 1989. link
  • Tags: housing nyc todo

Fare starts at 5 cents

  • Date: October 27, 1904
  • "And would the uniform five-cent fare, stipulated by the Rapid Transit Acts of 1891 and 1894, be enough to cover these contingencies?"
  • Source: Wallace B. Katz, "The New York Rapid Transit Decision of 1900," Historic American Engineering Record, pp2-144, 1979. link)
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

School Children Fare Debate

  • Was this the beginning of the end for 100% farebox recovery?
  • Source: "City to Add 9 Million Aid To Help Keep 15c Fare," The New York Times, July 10, 1963. link
  • Source: "NEW TRANSIT AID IS LINKED TO FARE," The New York Times, October 16, 1963. link
  • Source: E.R. Shipp, "M.T.A. Drops Pupil Half-Fare Program," The New York Times, June 14, 1980. link
  • Source: "The 20-Cent Fare Arrives," The New York Times, October 26, 1963. link
  • Tags: fares mta student-fares

Fare increases from $2 to $2.25

  • Date: June 28, 2009
  • MTA considered raising base fare to $3, but "state approved a bailout last month boosting mass transit subsidies"
  • Payroll mobility tax on 12-county MTA region was created, vehicle registration and parking fees were increased
  • Hike was coupled with service cuts
  • Unlimited ride MetroCard increases
    • 1-day: $7.50 to $8.25
    • 7-day: $25 to $27
    • 14-day: $47 to $51.50
    • 30-day: $81 to $89
  • Pay-per-ride bonus remains at 8%
  • In March 2009, MTA board previously approved increase from $2 to $2.50 [2]
    • Before Ravitch Commission report was adopted in the legislature, which created Payroll Mobility Tax
    • Report also suggested tolls on East River and Harlem River bridges
    • MTA executive director Elliot G. Sander referred to capital construction binge from 2000 to 2004 as being put "on a credit card"
  • Source: "M.T.A. Increases Fares and Cuts Services," The New York Times, March 25, 2009. link
  • Source: "Approved Fares for NYC Transit, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus and the Staten Island Railway," Metropolitan Transportation Authority, December 30, 2010. link
  • Source: "Farewell $2, hi $2.25," New York Daily News, June 28, 2009. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta sanders

Fare increases from $1.50 to $2

  • Date: May 4, 2003
  • 30-day pass raised to $70, 7-day pass to $21, 1-day pass to $7
  • Source: mta
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

Fare increases from $1 to $1.15

  • Date: January 1, 1990
  • A 1987 agreement with the unions, Governor, and Legislature "provided for the $1.15 fare" [1]
    • Occurred while approving 1987 $8.5bil capital plan
    • Written primarily by Felix Rohatyn
  • Increase of 15% was to close $200mil budget defecit
  • There was a political retreat from a $1.25 fare
    • Some say due to public outcry, others say it was a political gimmick
  • Kiley said in July 1989 that more than a $1.15 fare may be necessary
    • Ridership had not increased, resulting in $15mil less revenue than expected
    • Corporate-tax revenues were down $15mil
    • Federal aid was $25mil less than expected
  • "Technically, the M.T.A. can approve fare increases without the agreement of lawmakers. The Legislature, however, controls the authority's huge capital plans, giving it strong influence." [2]
  • Source: "Kiley Says Fares Could Increase Beyond $1.15 Planned for 1990," The New York Times, June 1, 1989. link
  • Source: David E. Pitt, "A $1.15 Token Now Supported By Transit Staff," The New York Times, December 2, 1989. link
  • Source: Eric Schmitt, "Transit Lines Brace for Test Of $1.15 Fare," The New York Times, January 2, 1990. link
  • Source: "Turnstile Politics: Preparing for the $1.15 Token," The New York Times, December 3, 1989. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance kiley mta rohatyn

Fare increases from 75 cents to 90 cents

  • Date: January 2, 1984
  • Kiley defends increases to make up operating deficits
  • 1984 budget is $3.7bil
  • New fares and tolls expected to generate $270mil
  • Elderly and handicapped returned to half fare 24 hours a day
    • Had been half fare only outside of 7am and 9am
  • City Council President Carol Bellamy had several criticisms
    • Questioned whether $38mil reserve fund for track work was necessary
    • Thought some operating budget items should actually be capital budget items
    • Thought budget was too conservative in "failing to count on receiving certain Federal financing"
  • Board endorsed Koch's proposal to have MTA set up administrative board to prosecute fare evadors, rather than sending them to court, as was currently done
  • Source: Suzanne Daley, "M.T.A. RAISES FARES AND TOLLS BY 20% ACROSS THE BOARD," The New York Times, December 17, 1983. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance kiley mta

Fare increases from 60 cents to 75 cents

  • Approved by the MTA on July 2nd, took effect on July 3rd
  • Continued to use 60 cent token
  • A two-step increase was approved: fare would increase again to $1 in two weeks(!) if no additional state aid was provided
  • Without second increase or addition state aid, NYC Transit Authority would still face annual defecit of $240mil
  • Source: Judith Cummings, "City's Fare Rises to 75 cents and Rails Increase by 25%," The New York Times, July 3, 1981. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta ravitch

Fare increases from 15 cents to 20 cents

  • Date: July 5, 1966
  • Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, a private bus company, wanted Wagner administration to increase fare to 20 cents in 1961 [2]
    • seems to imply NYCTA-specified fare applied to more than NYCTA
    • 15-cent fare possible because taxpayer subsidizes all NYCTA capital costs
      • 1961 debt service was $92mil
    • City-owned NYCTA did not pay taxes, Fifth Avenue coaches paid more than $4mil annually in taxes
  • Lindsay asked for $520mil tax package from Albany, but did not get it all
  • Senate killed a bill that would allow the city to transfer $69mil in state aid to NYCTA
    • The state aid was $100mil from January 1966 to lessen the burden of settling the 1966 transit strike
    • Without being able to use this aid, fare rose 5 cents
  • Source: "A 20-Cent Fare?," The New York Times, May 5, 1961. link
  • Source: Richard L. Madden, "ALBANY DEFEATS MEASURE TO SAVE 15-CENT CITY FARE," The New York Times, June 2, 1966. link
  • Source: Robert Alden, "TRANSIT FARE RISE OF 5 OR 10 CENTS CONSIDERED SURE," The New York Times, June 1, 1966. link
  • Source: "REACTIONS MIXED TO 20-CENT FARE," The New York Times, July 6, 1966. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta transit-strike-1966

Fare increases from 10 cents to 15 cents

  • Date: July 25, 1953
  • Legislature prohibits NYCTA running an operational deficit
  • Board at the time appears to be 5 members (pre-MTA)
  • For years, 5-cent fare had produced operating surplus
    • Operatuing surplus of $28mil in 1941
    • Operating deficits of $17mil and $31mil in 1947 and 1948, respectively
  • O'Dwyer ended the 5-cent fare in 1948 because it was effectively damaging schools and hospitals
  • The July 25th effective date for 15-cent fare is a week ahead of legal deadline
  • Ridership decline of 11% expected
    • Ridership had been falling 2-3% annually, independent of fare increases
  • Recent changes to hurt transit finances
    • Five-day work-week
    • Longer vacations
    • More paid holidays
    • Increased private automobile use
    • 40-hour work week
  • Transit agency payroll tripled in a decade
  • Deferred maintenance backlog estimated to be $75mil
  • General Hugh J. Casey was authority chairman
  • Source: nyc
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

63rd St Tunnel Connection Opens

  • Date: December 16, 2001
  • Start of V service was delayed by 9/11
  • V to run between Forest Hills-71 St and Second Avenue on the Lower East Side
  • Expected to increase service on Queens Boulevard by up to 20%
  • Uses $645mil tunnel connecting Queens Boulevard lines to 63 St Tunnel
  • Source: "New Subway Line To Start," The New York Times, November 28, 2001. link
  • Tags: expansion mta

Board of Estimate approves Second Avenue bond vote

  • Source: "$500,000,000 VOTED FOR 2D AVE. SUBWAY BY ESTIMATE BOARD," The New York Times, September 14, 1951. link
  • Tags: bonds mta second-avenue todo

Fare increases from $2.25 to $2.50

  • Date: March 3, 2013
  • Bonus decreased from 7% to 5%
  • Board member Allen Cappelli noted the difference in conversation since 2010, "We're not talking about reducing services, I think that's good news for New Yorkers."
  • Held public hearings throughout fall 2010 to give riders chance to discuss four fare package proposals
    • Riders wanted to keep the bonus and did not want to see big increase in 30-day pass price
    • 2010 increase on 30-day cards was $89 to $104, a 17% increase
  • Lhota announced his resignation to run for mayor after December 18th board meeting
  • Fare and toll increases expected to raise $450mil annually
  • Board members wished for greater transit subsidies rather than biannual fare increases
  • Source: "M.T.A. Weighs Who Will Pay When It Raises Transit Fares," The New York Times, October 12, 2012. link
  • Source: mta
  • Source: "Increase in Base Subway Fare and 30-Day Pass Is Approved," The New York Times, December 19, 2012. link
  • Tags: fare-increases lhota mta

TWU Strike Averted

  • Source: "Agreement Reached on Transit Contract," The New York Times, January 1, 1972. link
  • Tags: labor mta todo twu

Fare increases from 30 cents to 35 cents

  • Increase could rise to 45 cents due to new "trasit contract"
    • Depedendent on size of tax package to be considered in Albany
  • MTA board had 11 members
  • Could reuse old tokens or create new ones
  • Fare increase required approval from Federal Price Commission
  • Source: "Transit Fare Situation," The New York Times, January 2, 1972. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

Port Authority Misc

MTA Misc

Fare increases from 5 cents to 10 cents

  • Date: July 1, 1948
  • $37.5mil increase in fare revenue during last 6 months of 1948 [2]
    • But 12% drop in ridership (25.5mil less)
  • Average fare paid was 9.53 cents
    • Less than the actual fare of 10 cents because a combined subway and surface line fare was 12 cents
    • Rather than 10 cents plus 7 cents
  • Other interesting items:
    • Board of Transportation added 1272 staff, 940 which "were permanent under civil service"
    • 14 deoderizing and germ-killing lamps were installed in IRT stations at Times Square and Grand Central
  • Historically, transit was not required to be self-supporting because a fare increase would benefit private owners of "traction securities" [3]
    • No longer relevant since city now owned system
    • "Some of the cars in use are nearly forty years old"
    • City was providing $30mil annual subsidy to keep 5-cent fare using real estate taxes
    • Committee of Fifteen contained business, real estate, and industrial representatives
      • They proposed fare of 7.5 cents (2 for 15) to produce $45mil
        • Would cover $30mil current operational deficit
        • Allow $8mil for maintenance
        • And $7mil to replace old rolling stock
        • Allow for 6% cut in tax rate
        • And increase city's borrowing power, as the transit system would be operationally self-supporting ("making the transit debt self-liquidating"), which would allow for new subway construction
  • In first 28 days of 10 cent fare (a 100% increase), rapid transit revenues only rose 69.77% [4]
    • Partly due to the 12 cent transit fares with transfer sold above
    • But also the institution of 16 free transfers between divisions
  • Surface lines (bus and street car) fare increased from 5 to 7 cents, but only saw 18.96% rise in revenue [4]
    • All surface fare zones eliminated in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens
    • 2-cent transfer charge for Brooklyn surface lines eliminated
    • On 12 cent fare with transfer to rapid transit, surface lines only collecting share of 5 cents
      • seems like an internal NYCTA policy
  • Source: Paul Crowell, "City Gains $37,520,822 in 6 Months Under New Fares, but Fewer Ride," The New York Times, February 17, 1949. link
  • Source: "THE FIVE-CENT FARE," The New York Times, January 13, 1942. link
  • Source: "TRANSIT REVENUES UP 56.77% IN JULY," The New York Times, August 14, 1948. link
  • Source: "Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949.," The City of New York Board of Transportation, 82, 1949. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta reports

Fare increases from $2.50 to $2.75

  • Date: March 22, 2015
  • Increases scheduled to occur every two years as part of the "authority's long-term revenue plans"
  • Using borrowing to close capital gap could increase pressure to raise fares faster than scheduled
    • This implies to me that debt service increases aren't scheduled, why not?
  • Bonus for pay-per-ride MetroCards increased from 5% to 11%
  • Board chose base fare increase against keeping base fare constant and eliminating the bonus
    • Bonus kept because advocates serves as important discount for riders who cannot afford weekly or monthly passes
    • Fare capping would also work
  • Prendergast said increase needed to "balance budget agains the rising costs of providing services"
  • Increase expected to generate $210mil in 2015
  • Plan to unveil new fare payment system in 2020 and remove MetroCards by end of 2022
  • Improved financial outlook in 2013 hinted at smaller increases for 2015 and 2017 [2]
    • Ridership and real estate revenues both up
    • "The regularly scheduled increases are part of a rescue plan approved by the State Legislature in 2009."
    • This plan reduced expected revenues by over $900mil
      • To be balanced by 3 years of "net zero" labor cost increases
  • Source: Matt Flegenheimer, "M.T.A. Sees Smaller Fare Increases in ’15 and ’17," The New York Times, November 13, 2013. link
  • Source: "M.T.A. Is Raising Fares and Tolls; One Subway or Bus Ride Will Cost $2.75," The New York Times, January 22, 2015. link
  • Tags: fare-increases foran mta prendergast

Fare increases from 90 cents to $1

  • Date: January 1, 1986
  • Legislature saved 90-cent fare at end of 1984 by extending a corporate tax surcharge that helps subsidize mass transit in the NYC metro
  • Increase came as Transit Authority faced potential $225mil operating defecit for 1986
    • When did they stop calling themselves the Transit Authority?
  • Koch wanted to keep 90-cent fare for another year through a state increase of tax on real estate transactions greater than $1mil in the city
  • Cuomo said keeping 90-cent fare was not in his priorities, and wanted the legislature to focus on medical malpractice insurance
    • Koch responded, "I mean, you have to be able to do more than chew gum."
  • Source: "THE REGION; THE LAST DAYS OF THE 90-CENT FARE," The New York Times, December 8, 1985. link
  • Tags: cuomo-mario fare-increases koch mta

Fare increases from 50 cents to 60 cents

  • Date: June 28, 1980
  • Carey refused to rule out another increase
  • MNR referred to as "Conrail's commuter lines north of the city"
  • Sidney Schwartz, New York state's special fiscal monitor for the city, warned that fares may have to rise to 75 cents in 1981 unless "the financially troubled Transit Authority gets more aid and improves its management."
  • "Long Lines Expected" on Monday morning - MetroCard would eliminate this aspect of fare increases
    • Expected the morning rush to continue through 10 A.M., rather than the usual 9 A.M.
  • Ravitch, in April 1980, expected rise would need to be 75 cents [3]
  • Fiscal experts said 50-cent fare could be held with new tax on gross receipts by oil companies (yielding $150mil annually) and a surcharge on the gas tax (yielding $20mil annually) [4]
    • MTA budget showed $398mil deficit for fiscal year April 1, 1980 to March 31, 1981
    • Package expected to be supported by suburban voters because of minimal impact on them, including no commuter rail fare increases
    • 10-cent fare increase expected to provide $100mil increase in revenues
      • wonder what this is like today
    • Also necessary to hold 50-cent fare:
      • 25-cent toll increase to give $30mil to Transit Authority (today NYCT) and $30mil to commuter railroads
      • $56mil increase in subsidy from the city, from current $304.6mil
      • Additional $40mil "found" state budget through accounting differences
    • Strike increased 1979 deficit by $18.1mil and 1980 deficit by $92.7mil
      • $39.6mil gained penalties against strikers for violating state's Taylor Law
      • $26mil in lost fare revenues during the strike
      • $109.1mil lost in additional wages over 2 years
      • $19mil in additonal benefits payments
    • Productivity gains from new agreement with TWU estimated $15mil savings due to "addition of 20 minutes of productive work time"
      • assuming this means less overtime pay
  • Source: "Transit Officials Brace for Rush on Tokens," The New York Times, June 30, 1980. link
  • Source: "Ravitch Predicts 75 Transit Fare If Legislature Doesn't Act By July," The New York Times, April 21, 1980. link
  • Source: David A. Andelman, "$170 Million in New Taxes Called the Key to 50 Fare," The New York Times, April 26, 1980. link
  • Source: "Old and New Commuter Fares in New York Area," The New York Times, June 30, 1980. link
  • Tags: carey fare-increases mta ravitch transit-strike-1980

Fare increases from 35 cents to 50 cents

  • Interesting era for transit funding, with city in fiscal trouble and federal dollars for transit beginning: "In this city, so close to insolvency, little more can be expected in direct subsidy out of existing tax funds. But there is need for quick action on a new regional tax to underwrite mass transit, of the kind now under study by a state legislative committee. There is also need for more substantial financial support from Washington, now that the initial breakthrough has been made on Federal subsidy for both operating and capital costs."
  • MTA ran a defecit, "even operating with more than a half-billion dollars in Federal, state and municipal subsidy"
  • Article was a call for improved labor costs and work practices
  • Mentions an experiment train that would have lower energy usage
    • not sure which model this would be
  • Source: "Costlier Token," The New York Times, September 2, 1975. link
  • Tags: fare-increases federal-assistance mta

Fare increases from 20 cents to 30 cents

  • Date: January 4, 1970
  • Old tokens could be redeemed for their 20 cent value, or used as 20 cents on buses
  • 26 million new tokens were ordered
  • Besides station booths, "900 additional outlets, including banks, shops, newstands and other private businesses that have been selling tokens in the past" would sell new ones
  • Special fare from 42nd and 8th to Aqueduct raised from 75 cents to $1
    • I wonder how this was enforced
  • Half fares for those over 65 remained in effect
  • Old tokens would be put in storage for future need
  • 370 Jay St was authority's revenue department, where you could redeem old tokens over $3
  • Source: "New Tokens Go on Sale in Subways," The New York Times, January 3, 1970. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta

Emergency exit bars added

  • Date: 2006
  • Emergency exit push bars were added to the previously locked gates
    • NOT CONFIRMED this was in response do the 2005 London Underground bombings
  • Source: "MTA finally silences subway emergency exit alarms," New York Post, December 31, 2004. link
  • Tags: mta safety

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Sold

  • Sold to Tishman Speyer Properties for $5.4bil
  • Built by MetLife
  • Doctoroff had something to do with it link
  • Source: "Sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Goes Through Despite Some Tenants’ Efforts," The New York Times, November 18, 2006. link
  • Tags: doctoroff housing nyc todo

Bob Kiley appointed MTA Chair

New Yorker on Bob Kiley

  • MTA offices were at 347 Madison Avenue, near Grand Central
  • Britain's Labour party still (2004) gets most of its funding from unions
  • Kiley wanted public bondds to finance Tube improvements, Blair and Treasury wanted to use PPPs, let to privatization of the Tube
  • Tube control was transfered to TfL in July 2004
  • Kiley was chair of MTA from 1983 to 1990, took over the Underground at age 68
  • Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council in 1986, which was led by Ken Livingstone
  • Blair government engaged in massive devolution and recreated independent municipal government in London, but did not want to hand over control of the Underground with Livingstone as mayor
  • TfL was newly created
  • Kiley's subway chief at MTA was David Gunn
    • They also worked together at MBTA
    • Gunn briefly joined Kiley in London, but ran Amtrak at the time of this article
  • Appointed to Amtrak Board of Directors by Clinton in 1993
  • Known for engaging in public fights with New York's transit labor unions
  • "This would be a three-fer," Kiley said about the opportunity to lead in London, after running the old subway systems in Boston and NYC
  • Source: "Underground Man," The New Yorker, February 9, 2004. link
  • Source: "The Talk of the Town: Robert Kiley," The New Yorker, October 31, 1983. link
  • Tags: kiley mta tfl

MTA Courts Kiley

  • Date: October 8, 1983
  • Cuomo's counsel, Timothy Russert, sat with Kiley at Fenway during Yaz Day (Carl Yastrzemski's last game) to discuss the MTA job
  • The govenor's staff's codename for Kiley was "The Badge," "because he had been Deputy Mayor in charge of public safety in Boston from 1972 to 1975 and before that a C.I.A. official"
  • Source: "THE SECRET COURTING OF ROBERT KILEY," The New York Times, October 8, 1983. link
  • Tags: kiley mta

New Yorker on Ravitch-era capital plans

  • Date: June 25, 1984

  • Capital plan approved by NY state legislature, June 24, 1981

  • 1981 tax plan would come up $250mil short, so the legislature passed a 2-year corporate franchise tax in 1982 to make up the difference
    • This was after the long-lines tax on transportation companies was uncollectible
      • State is not allowed to tax interstate commerce, but they attempted to tax, say, a plane ticket from Albany to Washington's New York state component - also prohibited by federal law - which one?
  • Pullman had scandal involving cracked undercarriages on R46s
    • MTA won $72mil judgement from Pullman in December 1981
  • Kawasaki and Bombardier deal led to R62s and R62As
  • p65 - Cuomo wanted to reorganize MTA board after Bombardier deal - look for source
  • Fall 1981 - Metromedia lease
  • Dole's bill extended safe harbor leasing for transit to be delivered by 1987 (end of Bombardier bill)
  • Enactment of state law barring MTA from bankruptcy after comment from Robert Gerrard, managing director of Dillon Read
  • Congress passed measure giving MTA operating control of Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven commuter lines
    • Required $60mil transitional fund
  • First capital program increased from $7.2bil to $8.5bil after 1982 federal gas tax increase
  • Around time of Ravitch's resignation, Cuomo attempted to reorganize the board so that the chairman would not longer serve 6 year terms, but at the govenor's behest
    • isn't it still this way?
  • MTA sued Grumman Flexible due to faulty chassis on buses and had to repay federal money for purchase to the UMTA
  • 1983 NRDC report gave rare approval of MTA performance
  • New bus depot opened in 1984 in Sunset Park because new buses were too large to enter old one
  • After 12th derailment in 1983, red flags were put on track to signal 10mph sections
    • what is speed limit in today's restricted areas?
    • Subway track was supposed to receive two walking inspections a week
  • City's water table had risen 10 feet over previous 30 years, sitting tunnels on water rather than ground
  • Source: Lardner, James, "Painting the Elephant," The New Yorker, pp42-71, June 25, 1984. link
  • Tags: articles capital-plan mta ravitch

I searched "people mover midtown" in the Times Machine and this is what I got

Ravitch Commission

  • Date: December 4, 2008
  • Ravitch Commission unveils report on suggestions to close $1.2 billion deficit for 2009, after real estate transfer taxes and NYS corporate surcharge tax revenues dropped during the recession and Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan failed in the state legislature
  • Source: pcac
  • Source: "Ravitch Unveils M.T.A. Rescue Plan," The New York Times, December 4, 2008. link
  • Tags: mta ravitch ravitch-commission

Cuomo requests federal funds for high speed rail

  • Date: April 4, 2011
  • $295 million for MTA to construct Harold Interlocking (flyover for Amtrak NEC which currently must wait for LIRR)
  • It was approved (according the “The Road Back”) WAS THIS EVER BUILT???
  • Source: nyg
  • Tags: cuomo-andrew federal mta

de Blasio pushes for "Millionaire's Tax"

  • Date: August 7, 2017
  • Would increase city income tax rate for those making over $500k from 3.9% to 4.4%
  • Expected to be paid by 32,000 NYers
  • Expected to raise $700-$800mil annually
    • $500mil for capital costs, $250mil for half-price MetroCard program
  • Must pass state legislature
  • Source: "Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway," The New York Times, August 6, 2017. link
  • Tags: de-blasio mta taxes

Conducting a Search For Origins Of 'One Fare'

  • Date: 1997
  • Article ran on day of MetroCard's introduction (July 4, 1997)
  • Peter Stangl (MTA chair in 1992) proposed "fare deal" to offset 25-cent fare hike with discounts and free transfers
  • Richard Ravitch (MTA chair in 1982) considered automated turnstile to allow riders from outer boroughs to reach Manhattan on a single fare
  • Source: nyc
  • Source: nyt
  • Tags: fares mta

From Rescue to Renaissance: The Achievements of the MTA Capital Program 1982 - 2004

The Road Back - History of MTA capital plan

William J. Ronan, former MTA chair, dies

  • Source: "William J. Ronan, Architect of the M.T.A., Dies at 101," The New York Times, October 18, 2014. link
  • Tags: mta ronan

MTA Bus Company created

  • Date: 2004
  • Funding came from LaGuardia connection?
  • Source: apta
  • Tags: mta mta-bus

Congestion pricing dies after failing to reach a vote in the State Assembly

  • Date: April 7, 2008
  • Would have created $8 fee to enter parts of Manhattan
  • Would have raised $500mil annually and unlocked $354mil in immediate federal grants
  • Source: "Congestion Pricing Plan Dies in Albany," The New York Times, April 7, 2008. link
  • Tags: congestion-pricing mta

MTA approves budget cuts that remove V and W trains

  • Date: March 24, 2010
  • Source: "Transit Agency Approves Cuts, and More Bad News Looms," The New York Times, March 25, 2010. link
  • Tags: budget mta

Joseph Giulietti

  • Announced President of Metro North on January 9, 2014
  • Credited with rebuilding positive narrative surrounding MNR after Spuyten-Duyvil derailment which killed 4 in December 2013
    • Source: (missing, heard during July 26, 2017 MTA board meeting)
  • Tags: mta people

New York State Transportation Bond Act

  • Date: 2005
  • Provided $1.45 billion towards 2005-2009 MTA capital program from state (state assumes debt service….I think)
  • Source: mta
  • Source: "Voters Approve Transit Bonds for $2.9 Billion," The New York Times, November 9, 2005. link
  • Tags: bonds mta

Fare increases from $1.25 to $1.50

  • Date: November 12, 1995
  • Board voted to increase fare to $1.50 on October 19, 1995, a 20% increase
  • To take effect on November 12
    • One week delay cost the MTA $5.3mil
    • New token introduced to prevent hoarding, last before MetroCard
  • 20% increases had been avoided since 1984 by Govenor or Mayor eventually providing more funds
  • E. Virgil Conway was MTA chair at the time
  • New York Urban League and Straphanger's Campaign said they would sue MTA in federal court saying the fare increase would "violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it would affect the poor, blacks and Hispanic people most heavily"
    • did this happen?
  • Canceled fare increase on express buses from $4 to $5, saying they wouldn't be able to compete with private buses
    • Express buses are biggest money losers in the system
  • Source: "THE $1.50 SUBWAY RIDE: THE OVERVIEW;M.T.A. VOTE RAISES FARE ON SUBWAYS AND BUSES TO $1.50," The New York Times, October 20, 1995. link
  • Tags: conway fare-increases mta

MTA To Find

  • Bear, Stearns & Co. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Finances of Mass Transit Services in New York City. New York: Bear Stearns, 1983.
  • Crowell, William H. "Financing mass transit in New York City"
  • Ravitch, Richard. "Staff Report of Capital Revitalization for the 1980s and Beyond"
  • Tags: mta todo

MTA Misc

MTA Office of the Inspector General created

Reagan Administration says MTA violated international trade agreements

  • Date: May 28, 1982
  • Canadian Export Development Corporation agreed to lend the MTA $563mil (85% of $662mil car purchase price) at 9.7% for 15 years
    • OECD minimum rate at the time was 11.25% for terms of length 5-8.5 years
  • Source: "U.S. SEES VIOLATION OF TRADE ACCORDS IN M.T.A. PROPOSAL," The New York Times, May 29, 1982. link
  • Tags: mta ravitch

Bob Dole denounces $100mil MTA leasing deal

  • Date: April 9, 1982
  • Source: "DOLE SEES 'HORROR STORY' IN M.T.A. LEASING DEAL," The New York Times, April 9, 1982. link
  • Tags: mta ravitch

NY State Legislature approves 5 taxes to provide MTA operating assistance

  • Date: July 10, 1981
  • Avoided fare increase from $0.75 to $1
  • Five taxes:
    • "The gross-receipts tax on the oil companies."
    • "An increase in the state sales tax of a quarter of a cent on the dollar in the region served by the M.T.A. The tax would be computed by rounding up to the nearest whole cent for fractions of 0.5 cents or more and rounding down for fractions under 0.5 cents."
    • "A 10 percent tax on capital gains in real-estate transfers of more than $1 million within New York City."
    • "A tax based on the net income and capital of oil companies' outof-state and international operations."
    • "A corporate franchise tax of 0.75 percent on the gross returns from the in-state portion of interstate communications and commercial transport." Known as the "long lines" tax.
  • I think these all still exist. Should annotate individually.
  • Source: Richard J. Meislin, "FARE RISES TO 75 CENTS; TRANSIT TAX PLAN DRAWN IN ALBANY," The New York Times, July 3, 1981. link
  • Source: "FIVE TAXES VOTED IN ALBANY TO GIVE MASS-TRANSIT AID," The New York Times, July 10, 1981. link
  • Tags: mta taxes

Third Avenue El closes in the Bronx

  • Date: April 29, 1973
  • Last stretch to close was between Gun Hill Road and 149th St
  • Ran 12 blocks east of the IND Concourse Line
  • Replaced with buses seemingly to lower an operating defecit
  • Source: "Third Ave. El Reaches the End of Its Long, Noisy, Blighted, Nostalgic Line," The New York Times, April 29, 1973. link
  • Tags: elevated mta

Ronan pleads for 1971 state transportation bond issue

  • Date: October 5, 1971
  • It would fail at the ballot a month later
  • $2.5bil issue would be split $1.35bil for transit and $1.15bil for highways
    • A rarity to have transit amount greater than highways, and Ronan knew it
  • Ronan said new bond would be used to improve existing systems, since riders complained that 1967 bond showed little tangible benefits (spent mostly on Second Avenue Subway?)
  • Fare would go to 45 or 50 cents (from 30) if bond didn't pass
    • Isn't this mixing capital and operating expenses?
    • Yes, but some capital projects were already being paid out of farebox income
    • This was pre-capital program, so my details on all this are weak right now
  • Source: "Ronan Calls Bond-Issue Vote Key to Stable Subway Fares," The New York Times, October 5, 1971. link
  • Tags: bonds mta ronan

Regional Transportation Program

  • Date: August 1969
  • Highlights expansions and improvements as part of Mayor John Lindsay's "Program for Action"
  • Source: "Regional Transportation Program," Metropolitan Transportation Authority, August 1969. link
  • Tags: expansion mta program-for-action reports

Fare raised from $1.15 to $1.25

  • Date: January 1, 1992
  • Took effect at midnight, handwritten signs announced day before
    • Passengers only allowed to buy 4 tokens at old fare to prevent hoarding
    • Created new physical token to prevent use of slugs (does this mean fakes?)
  • Peter E. Stangl was MTA chairman at the time
  • MTA required by state to produce a balanced budget
    • The board voted 12-to-2 to approve this budget even though it was technically not balanced
  • Faced $263mil budget defecit, fare increase lowered this to $157mil
    • To fully close the gap, the increase would have needed to be to $1.40
    • Not sure how the $157mil ended up being found, need more sources
    • It was discussed to transfer $90mil from relatively healthy LIRR and MNR, which was contentious because of:
      • it would represent a suburban->urban transfer (which was opposed by Republication legislators)
      • and because of transfer of capital funds to operating funds
        • Senate Transportation Committee chairman Norman Levy claimed this, but MTA officials denied this
        • Levy argued this transfer would be similar to 1960s and 70s, when MTA several deferred maintenance on its infrastructure
  • Subway and bus farebox recovery was 61% in 1991, commuter railroads was less than 50%
  • Operating deficit was caused by a sharp downturn in the local economy
  • Source: Sam Howe Verhovek, "G.O.P. Senator Opposes Using Rail Funds to Limit Subway Fare," The New York Times, December 5, 1991. link
  • Source: "Token price rises 10 cents to $1.25 in New York City," The New York Times, January 1, 1992. link
  • Tags: fare-increases mta stangl

Board of Estimate approves Second Avenue Subway and 11 other new routes

  • Program cost of $1.26bil was to be split
    • $600mil from state from bond issue ($2.5bil approved by voters in November 1967)
    • $500mil from city, "borrowed through its capital-budget allocations"
    • rest from federal
  • Changed SAS plan from four track to two tracks
  • Source: "City Approves 2d Ave. Subway And 11 Other New Transit Line," The New York Times, September 21, 1968. link
  • Tags: expansion mta second-avenue

63rd St Tunnel Location Debated

  • Date: 1964
  • CBC thought tunnel on 61st St would lead to better East Side IRT and future line connections
  • Source: "Proposed Subway Tube Assailed As 'Nowhere-to-Nowhere' Lin," The New York Times, December 16, 1964. link
  • Tags: expansion mta

Eugene Keilin appointed MAC chairman by Cuomo

New York City Loan Guarantee Act

Jacob Javits pleads for federal load guarantees for New York City

  • Date: March 16, 1978
  • Cites Congressional Research Service report on existing large and varied federal loan guarantees
  • Source: cuny
  • Tags: javits nyc nycfc

New York City Seasonal Financing Act

NYC Misc

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Mitchell Moss

Edward Kresky

  • Early MAC appointee
  • Served as deputy under William Ronan both for Govenor Rockefeller and MTA
  • Source: "Edward Kresky, 88, calmed fiscal panic," The New York Times, January 31, 2013. link
  • Tags: mac nyc people

Robert Moses responds to Robert Caro

The Light at the End of the Subway

  • Date: February 1, 1982
  • Only 10 subway stations had ever been modernized (as of 1982)
  • Capital plan money couldn't be used by law for hiring additional police, but it could fund crime fighting indirectly through safer station design and CCTV
  • Staten Island Railroad (here called Staten Island Rapid Transit line) stations to be extended to support four-car trains from three)
  • Capital plan included $260mil to replace IRT and BMT power systems
    • Failures cause trains to stall or travel slowly when power is low
  • They refer to the capital plan as a "bailout"
  • "Fare-box revenues must, in the end, cover most of the principle and interest on the MTA bonds. Thus, depending on how high interest rates are when the bonds are sold, a fare hike may be necessary."
  • Ravitch says state reneged on a promise to pay the last installment on a fifteen-year-old Transportation Bond Issue, costing the MTA $90mil
    • I guess this was from 1967?
    • City's annual capital contribution also cut by Koch by $65mil (only a year after hiking it by $65mil)
  • $7.9bil capital plan breakdown
    • $3.6bil from new MTA bonds
    • $800mil from Triborough bonds
    • $800mil from new state bond package "guaranteed by the promise of 35 additional years of generous transit aid from Albany"
    • $1.3bil from federal aid
    • $500mil from state aid
    • $400mil from city aid
    • $400mil from "leaseback" <-- safe harbor leasing thingy
  • Ravitch says it's difficult to attract good workers when diesel mechanic working for the city gets paid 30% more than one working for the TA
  • Koch appointed Ross Sandler as the "new transit watchdog"
    • not sure what statute this resulted from
  • Source: nymag
  • Tags: articles capital-plan mta

Still to Read

"The Man at the Wheel of the M.T.A." - Ravitch in New York Magazine

  • Date: February 1, 1982
  • "A Nelson A. Rockefeller creation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was set up in 1968 to coordinate public transit and insulate the mayor and governor from complaints about fare increases."
  • Under Ronan, fares rose from 20 cents to 35
  • David L. Yunich was appointed by Malcom Wilson to succeed Ronan, and oversaw fare increases from 35 cents to 50
  • Harold Fisher was appointed by Carey in 1977, saw no fare increases, but oversaw deferred maintenance programs
  • Source: nymag
  • Tags: articles mta ravitch

Governance Assessment of MTA Capital Program Mega Projects

  • Date: November 2010
  • Capital Program Oversight Committee (CPOC) consists of MTA board members
  • Independent Engineering Consultant (IEC) exists to help CPOC understand technical parts of capital projects
  • MTAHQ Office of Construction Oversight (OCO) manages the IEC
  • IEC is presently (2010) under a $7mil annual contract with MTAHQ
  • MTA created MTA Capital Construction (MTACC) to oversee SAS, EAS, Fulton Center, 7 line extension
  • Source: mtaoig
  • Tags: mta reports

New York City Housing Crisis

Municipal Assistance Corporation Shut Down

Commuter Tax Repealed

  • Date: May 18, 1999
  • Was 0.45 of 1% income tax on commuters in the state who work in New York City
  • Would reduce city revenue by $210m (or up to $360m, if courts rule tax now discriminates against out-of-state commuters (apparently this remained at the time, NEED SOURCE FOR RESULT OF THIS))
  • Mayor Giuliani opposed, Gov. Pataki signed, week before special election for State Senate seat in Rockland/Orange counties (NW of NYC)
  • City enjoyed $2b surplus at the time, Republicans intended measure to lighten tax burder on suburban residents
  • "The Mayor asserted that the city had a right to ask commuters to contribute to the costs of police, fire and other services."
  • Source: "Legislature Acts Quickly To Repeal Commuter Tax," The New York Times, May 18, 1999. link
  • Tags: nyc taxes

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