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The MTA is completely out of touch

New York City’s subways are crumbling. Delays cost the city $389 million a year in lost wages and productivity, according to city Comptroller Scott Stringer. Police have quit arresting turnstile-jumpers and platform-urinators — although they found time in July to clear the homeless from a Brooklyn F train station so that limo-loving Mayor de Blasio, taking a photo-op ride, wouldn’t see them.

Yup, it’s a jungle down there — and on elevated lines too. Fortunately, the MTA will go to no end to make our daily schlep less stressful.

Each week, we may count on agency chairman Joe Lhota to announce a new advance in passenger hospitality.

The state-run MTA’s latest master stroke on behalf of the train-riding millions is to remove seats on the L, E and soon possibly other lines. Lucky “cattle car” passengers will find seats folded upright during rush hours to speed loading times and pack ’em in even tighter.

Sure, it might be a nuisance for the disabled. But no seats also means no more guilt about not giving them up to elderly and pregnant people, as those pesky announcements urge us to do “with a smile.”

The elderly and pregnant, meanwhile, can share in the thrill of grinding, upright bodies. “Make ’em stand” is just the thing for pervs to channel their inner Harvey Weinsteins. They may now practice inappropriate sexual contact without fear of being “reported to police or an MTA employee,” as the announcements urge.

And, in a bonus for everyone, seat-locking opens up extra elbow room for pole-spinning, high-kicking amateur acrobats and doo-wop groups warbling “Blue Moon” off-key for 90 minutes between Canarsie and Union Square.

Forgive the cheap jokes; in reality, the subway’s condition is anything but a laughing matter. Sure, the MTA can justifiably boast of completing the No. 7-line Hudson Yards extension and the 30-block-long “Second Avenue Subway,” which is more accurately a Second Avenue spur.

But as New York City’s population swelled from 1980’s 7.07 million to this year’s 8.54 million, all that extra wear-and-tear on top of decades of underfunded maintenance left the subway system, much of it 100 years old, scarcely capable of handling today’s weekday ridership. We’re up to 6 million uses daily — the highest level since 1948.

The subway barely managed to cope with the city’s growth for 20 years, but the streak’s really run out. As The Post reported this week, the city’s Independent Budget Office found that straphangers lost a total of 35,000 hours over the past year — 11,000 hours more than for the year 2012. Much worse than a mere inconvenience to ordinary citizens, the service tailspin will inevitably scare off companies that were thinking about moving here and threaten the entire economy.

MTA leaders are out of touch with actual riding conditions

As de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo bicker over whose job it is to pay for and fix problems such as breakdown-prone, 1932-vintage switching equipment, tracks and trains only decay further.

Nudged into action by public outrage, the MTA launched a $20 million, interim emergency plan in July to help move trains in and out of its 472 stations faster. It’s well-intentioned and might even help a little. But silly things like floor mats with arrows showing passengers which way to move only invite those bad jokes — and prove that MTA leaders are out of touch with actual riding conditions.

Inscrutable weekend “service advisories” are better for laughs than as useful guidance. Announcements urge us to put trash in “proper receptacles.” But — those MTA comedians! — there are no garbage cans along the entire three-block length of my Q-train platform, among many others.

And then there’s the new policy of “honest” explanations for delays. No more “we are being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher” to excuse a 20-minute stall, the MTA promised. So how come I still hear the old lines all the time?

I actually prefer them to “honest” advisories like, “Service is delayed due to a stalled train at 63d Street” — which is loudly inflicted on my ears every 15 seconds like sleep-deprivation torture.

Lhota floated a proposal last summer to ban from the subway “inappropriate” foods like Chinese rice that supposedly could cause fires. He wisely dropped the idea.

After all, New Yorkers love to eat on their feet. Watch the closing cattle pens!

Source: https://nypost.com/2017/10/28/the-mta-has-had-a-lot-of-bad-ideas/

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