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Government Watchdogs Want Cuomo To Lift MTA Emergency Declaration

Patrick Cashin

This month marks four years since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo first declared a so-called "state of emergency" for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Government watchdogs now say it's time to rescind it.

The governor gave the MTA state of emergency status in 2017 — when things seemed dire. Regular signal problems disrupted the subways. There were broken train cars and three derailments. By signing the state of emergency, the MTA could bypass legal and oversight requirements for the sake of signing contracts for repairs, without all the bureaucracy. That’s been the status quo since.

Watchdogs and some MTA board members said Cuomo's order is no longer necessary because public transit has improved. And it's time to bring back transparency to the MTA's contract approvals and spending.