How to Fix New York’s Totally F*cked Subway System

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

The New York City Subway is the circulatory system for the global capital of finance and media, and today this 114-year-old engineering marvel is coming apart. Stalled trains, signal breakdowns, and constant line closures are complicating the lives of New Yorkers, who ride the trains more than five and a half million times a day.

The MTA, the public agency that runs the subways, is woefully mismanaged, fiscally irresponsible, and politically captured. Thanks to the clout of the Transit Workers Union, subway workers on average make $155,000 in total annual compensation, or more than twice as much as the passengers they serve.

The political response to this crisis has been mainly to devise new ways to collect more money for this troubled operation, such as a new “millionaires tax” or by imposing additional tolls and surcharges on cars.

But a major lesson from the first 114 years…

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