In the popular children’s television series “Thomas & Friends,” a small blue tank engine named Thomas chugs along through a series of adventures and misadventures on the fictional island of Sodor.
From one episode to the next, Thomas and his friends – a motley crew of anthropomorphized engines like himself – learn important lessons like overcoming one’s weaknesses, treating others with respect and being cooperative. One character in particular – a big engine named Gordon – stands out for his self-importance and his occasional disregard for the smaller locomotives.
In New York City, thousands of commuters are suffering through a less entertaining series of railway misadventures, thanks to years of inadequate investment in the subway system. The city’s many subway riders may have learned some things along the way, such as how to be patient or the importance of paying attention to elected officials’ positions on transit funding and then remembering to vote.
But for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – who have been squabbling for months over how to fix the subways – watching a few episodes “Thomas & Friends” might help them remember the importance of working together to solve problems.
Why it's still Gov. Andrew Cuomo's MTA
Last fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to address the twin crises of transit funding and traffic congestion: The New York City subway system in tatters, buses moving slower than anywhere else in the country and delivery vans curtailing routes because of traffic. Now, as the state government begins to consider its budget for the coming year, the city’s transit riders will find out if the governor really meant it. Read the full story here.
Andy Byford reformed transit in Toronto. Can he do it in NYC?
Amid widespread angst over declining service and decaying facilities, New York City has welcomed Andy Byford as the new president of the New York City Transit Authority, charged with cleaning up its festering problems. He comes to the job following five years as head of the Toronto Transit Commission, where he was responsible for turning around another large transit agency that had fallen in the public’s esteem. Read the full story here.
Who's who at the MTA?
With all the finger-pointing between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over who is responsible for the dilapidated subway system, it’s easy to become confused about, well, who is responsible for the dilapidated subway system. So that you can apportion blame correctly the next time your train inexplicably skips your stop, here is a handy guide explaining who does what at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read the full story here.