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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 3:58 PM
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The Case for the Subway: New York Times

The Case for the Subway

It built the city. Now, no matter the cost — at least $100 billion — the city must rebuild it to survive.

By JONATHAN MAHLERJAN. 3, 2018

Quote:
ong before it became an archaic, filthy, profligate symbol of everything wrong with our broken cities, New York’s subway was a marvel — a mad feat of engineering and an audacious gamble on a preposterously ambitious vision. “The effect it is to have on the city of New York is something larger than any mind can realize,” said William Gaynor, the New York mayor who set in motion the primary phase of its construction. A public-works project of this scale had never before been undertaken in the United States, and even now, more than a century later, it is hard to fully appreciate what it did for the city and, really, the nation.

Before the subway, it was by no means a foregone conclusion that New York would become the greatest city on earth. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants fleeing poverty and persecution were arriving on its doorstep every year, but most of them were effectively marooned, herded into dark, squalid tenements in disease-ridden slums. The five boroughs had recently been joined as one city, but the farms and villages of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens might as well have been on the other side of the planet from Manhattan’s teeming streets. Bound up in the fate of the city were even larger questions: Would America be able to manage the transition from the individualism and insularity that defined its 19th-century frontiers to the creative collaboration and competition of its fast-growing urban centers? Could it adapt and excel in this rapidly changing world? Were cities the past or the future of civilization? And then came the subway: hundreds of miles of track shooting out in every direction, carrying millions of immigrants out of the ghettos and into newly built homes, tying together the modern city and enabling it to become a place where anything was possible.

...
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 8:11 PM
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Interesting article.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 9:59 PM
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Gave it a read. It echoes what's going on elsewhere in America - systemic disinvestment, flash over substance, greed and excess in some corners of the world of labor unions.

It's going to take decades for the system as whole to reach a state of good repair and I have a had time seeing how it's going to happen without long term shutdowns of portions of the system such as what the L will be experiencing next year or something New Yorkers may hate and fear more - the end of widespread 24 hour service. Shutting down the entire system at night may not be necessary but certainly taking large and/or semi-redundant portions down nightly is an option.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 5:01 PM
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well trump and his people just pulled the rug out from the interstate gateway tunnel for amtrak/nj transit, so good luck with getting subway money from the feds.

also it doesnt help that his new tax reform deal steals billions more $$$ from already paying blue states to fund the welfare red states that supported him.

so much for rebuilding infrastructure. odds are that means new toll roads to trump.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 5:47 PM
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More asswipery from trump. everything he touches turns to absolute shit.
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The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.Elie Wiesel
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 6:55 PM
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Hopefully the monster has months, not years left in office but I have little doubt the Pence administration would be just as backward in regards to transport.
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For me it can be reduced to this: For every personal freedom we gained from the automobile, we lost in social cohesion.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 7:04 PM
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Seeing how terribly the MTA is run - and how they basically just light money on fire - doesn't help their case whatsoever either, though.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 10:59 PM
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They need to go with public-private partnerships. Zoning allotments for transit money.

Except that Manhattan is already zoned so densely.... Not sure what the solution is.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 2:35 AM
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I'm all for spending more money.. just as soon as the union is broken. Right now you might as well just light money on fire trying to spend money on the subway with all the absurd union rules that drive costs 10x higher than the rest of the world.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 4:32 AM
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^I think everyone is in agreement that the union needs to be curtailed and reformed in both it's work rules and financial expectations in a top to bottom shake-up, but the way you are taking it to the extreme by talking "union busting" just makes you sound like a right-wing asshole.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 1:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
^I think everyone is in agreement that the union needs to be curtailed and reformed in both it's work rules and financial expectations in a top to bottom shake-up, but the way you are taking it to the extreme by talking "union busting" just makes you sound like a right-wing asshole.
So basically you support the same thing but just want to use sugar coated terminology? But I'm the asshole?
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 3:19 PM
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How about a fare increase for starters? For a city like New York with all of the tolls on bridges and tunnels, the fare structure of MTA is too cheap. $2.75 for the subway/bus and $121 monthly pass seems very low considering the complex infrastructure that is the NY subway.

http://web.mta.info/bandt/traffic/btmain.html
http://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/tolls.html
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 3:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownTown View Post
So basically you support the same thing but just want to use sugar coated terminology? But I'm the asshole?
No dope. You clearly have expressed sentiments that are unambiguously anti-union not pro smarter, reformed, policed or reformed union. Folks don't usually throw around the term "union busting" unless they are ideologically opposed to the mere existence of unions because of a deep-seated and likely immutable political [right-wing conservative] conviction.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 5:05 PM
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I'm usually pro union, but what the TWU/contractors are doing is just robbery. From that NYT article, there's $1MM in week in salaries being paid out on the East Side Access to people who literally don't even have jobs, or job functions. If I underreport my income on my taxes by $1,000 the IRS rips me to shreds, but this is okay? Where is the NYS AG on this? If this isn't criminal, it sure needs to be.

It's just so far beyond anything that could even remotely be considered reasonable, I have no sympathy.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 9:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 View Post
I'm usually pro union, but what the TWU/contractors are doing is just robbery. From that NYT article, there's $1MM in week in salaries being paid out on the East Side Access to people who literally don't even have jobs, or job functions. If I underreport my income on my taxes by $1,000 the IRS rips me to shreds, but this is okay? Where is the NYS AG on this? If this isn't criminal, it sure needs to be.

It's just so far beyond anything that could even remotely be considered reasonable, I have no sympathy.
Exactly. My favorite is the people making union salaries to press the buttons on the elevator for you. Or just as you said the fact that we use twice as many people to do every job as is actually required. Whenever people look around in confusion about why costs are so high I just have to roll my eyes. The absurd corruption mentioned as been known for ages and nobody does anything about it because the unions have such political clout.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
No dope. You clearly have expressed sentiments that are unambiguously anti-union not pro smarter, reformed, policed or reformed union. Folks don't usually throw around the term "union busting" unless they are ideologically opposed to the mere existence of unions because of a deep-seated and likely immutable political [right-wing conservative] conviction.
I’m not opposed to the idea of unions, as a way to give workers a voice in their own working conditions and to ensure consistent, high quality training.

However, I think virtually everything about American unions needs to be reformed... many companies these days are voluntarily raising wages just to avoid the endless BS of union bargaining.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:02 PM
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I am the son of a union machinist and from what I know from growing up is that with every new bargained contract the union laborers voluntarily agreed to lower wages to help the companies "competitiveness" and were left with lower purchasing power that most certainly did not keep up with inflation and agreed to a two tier system where skilled workers make little more than a custodian with no benefits for several years as a way to placate the company from pulling out all together and moving to some blood sucker anti-union "right to work" state. This coincided with the company making hand over fist obscene profits for their shareholders. Most labor unions are not the greed festering rackets that the right-wing paints them to be and in the case of the MTA may be close to being. Those are outliers. and from my experience the majority of American union laborers are honest hardworking people that with the existence of a union have secured a middle-class quality of life, but one that with every year becomes more threatened. And lets not forgot who brought you the weekend.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 7:46 PM
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Yes, private and public sector unions are two different animals, for sure. In the private sector, it's adversarial - which it should be. It prevents excesses on both sides. Labor laws and regulations should be set up to maintain a rough balance of power between capital and labor. It's not good when the balance shifts in either direction. As you note, many states are now right-to-work, which wipes away any kind of balance. In the case of, say, the auto industry (which is probably what most people picture when discussing unions) the government arguably awarded too much power to the unions, and prevented auto manufacturers from evolving the way they needed to in order to remain competitive.

In the public sector, though, it's like a totally different thing. Not a golden age of organized labor, exactly, but it does seem like politicians/electeds fall all over themselves to award fat contracts and juicy deals to connected union firms. Politicians win, the workers on the project win, but all of us taxpayers lose when we get projects that are run this way. Even "labor" as a whole doesn't really win, because if we had projects that were managed more responsibly and frugally, there would be more projects underway and more overall people employed.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 7:55 PM
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^ Exactly. This is all on my mind.

Unions are great, enlightened as long as they have to survive constraints of the private sector, which is rough.
Either you are productive already, or you need to get to productivity, whatever it takes.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:41 AM
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New York should become a right-to-work state. Then NYC will have all the money it needs to rebuild its subway system.
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