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'It Makes No Sense' That MTA Says City on Hook for Subway Funds, Mayor Says

By Katie Honan | July 23, 2017 10:02pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio rode the F train on Sunday for a press conference about the state of the MTA. 
Mayor Bill de Blasio rode the F train on Sunday for a press conference about the state of the MTA. 
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Gothamist/Christopher Robbins

PARK SLOPE — Mayor Bill de Blasio rode the F train Sunday and blasted what he called "fiction" from the state — saying it "makes no sense" that the MTA claims the city is responsible for the problem-plagued transit system and demanded a plan to fix it as soon as possible. 

The mayor, who got on at 4th Avenue and 9th Street and rode four stops to Jay Street-MetroTech, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo should "step up" and fund the MTA and also accept responsibility for the system. 

"The state of New York is responsible for making sure our subways run," de Blasio said.

Last week, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota held a press conference to say the city had the responsibility to fund the MTA, since they lease it to the MTA to operate.

But the astonished mayor said he never heard anyone state the city owns the MTA before, saying the state needs to "just take ownership and fix the problem."

"It makes no sense," de Blasio said. "And I have never heard anything like that from Joe Lhota before."

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► Gov. Cuomo's Approval Ratings Plunge as Subway Frustration Grows, Poll Says
 Gov. Cuomo Declares State of Emergency for 'Decaying' MTA

Last month, Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the "decaying" public transit system, vowing an additional $1 billion in the transit authority's capital plan to make improvements. 

But he continued to deny full responsibility for the system, saying its issues are from "decades of under-investment, deferred maintenance and deferred modernization" of the system compounded by increasing ridership.

De Blasio said the MTA doesn't need any more money — adding that the authority hasn't spent 90 percent of the $2.5 billion the city gave as part of a capital program in 2015.

"They have the resources," he said. "There's no doubt about it. Now give us a plan that will fix the problem."