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Links roundup—MTA, Port Authority & more edition

October 18, 2011

The MTA is trying to improve elevator and escalator services. Photo via Flickr user bitchcakesny.


  • The MTA is really trying to improve elevator and escalator service at subway stations. [NYT]
  • The MTA is also replacing its century-old signalling system with new Communications Based Train Control systems. Streetsblog explains what this means. [Streetsblog]
  • Executive Director of the MTA? “It’s not an easy position to fill. The universe of professionals capable of running a transit agency with a daily subway and bus ridership of 7 million is small. The universe of qualified professionals who want to do so, given the thankless nature of running the authority during a recession, is even smaller.” [Capital New York]
  • More musings about who’s going to replace Jay Walder as head of the MTA. [Second Ave. Sagas]
  • It’s legal for women in New York to go topless in public, but doing so in the MTA’s Grand Central Station got one woman a citation. It probably wasn’t the best idea for her to strip in front of the judge while her case was being argued. [NYT]  [Above the Law – NSFW]

Port Authority

  • The outgoing Port Authority Executive Director, Chris Ward, wasted a lot of money on ground zero, according to an as-yet-unreleased audit commissioned by Governor Cuomo. [NY Post]
  • Ward, however, says he was forced to resign because of the political backlash surrounding the authority’s toll and fare hikes this summer. [DNAinfo]
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to support Ward. “All I know is that people think it’s amazing that we got the memorial open on time,” he stated at a press conference. [Capital New York]
  • Columnist David Brooks is also pro-Ward, calling his ouster “inexplicable” and saying that he “rescued the ground zero project by disenchanting it, by seeing it as it is, not through shrouds of symbols—by attending closely to all the practical complexity.” [NYT]
  • In other Port Authority news, the authority caught a big-rig driver who was trying to avoid paying tolls with a contraption designed to obscure his license plate when he went through the EZ Pass lane. He was charged with theft of service, possession of burglar’s tools, and eluding. [NY Post]


  • New York State Senator George Maziarz is fighting a proposal to send low-cost hydropower produced in Western New York to the Long Island Power Authority, saying that power produced locally should stay local. [Tonawanda News] [Daily News]
  • The pros and cons of merging LIPA and NYPA. [Suffolk County LIPA Oversight Committee]


  • Assemblyman John D. Ceretto is unhappy that ESDC is supporting the relocation of a manufacturing business headquarters from Niagara Falls to Tonawanda with a $700,000 capital grant. “Why is Empire State Development providing these types of incentives for the company to relocate out of the city?” he asked. “The argument that there isn’t room in Niagara Falls, or that this relocation keeps the company from moving out of state, doesn’t hold water. The $700,000 in incentives should have been utilized to make Unifrax’s operations sustainable in Niagara Falls.” [Ceretto’s letter to ESDC] [Buffalo News]
  • And New York State Senator Tony Avella is pushing legislation that would require stricter oversight of public land sales, including land sold by public authorities and land transferred to public authorities by the state. [Douglaston Patch]
  • The comptroller announced a tentative schedule for the planned public sale of obligations for the state, its major public authorities, the City of New York, and the city’s major public authorities during the fourth quarter of 2011. The proposed new issuances total approximately $5.7 billion. [OSC]
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