NYS Assembly Drops Ball on Subway Service Oversight

July 28, 2017

City Council Announces August 8 Hearing on Subway Meltdown
Assembly Has Done No Hearings, None Planned.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) is a state authority that runs subway and bus service in New York City. As a state authority, the MTA is subject to oversight by the state legislature. However, the State Assembly, which is controlled by representatives from New York City, has done zero subway oversight hearings in the last two years, and has none planned, despite the worst meltdown in subway service in decades.

Today, the NYC City Council announced it was holding a hearing on subway service on August 8. Unfortunately, the State Assembly has a culture of conducting very few oversight hearings, and has conducted no oversight hearings on subway service in the last three years, probably longer. Public policy experts view oversight hearings as important tools for holding state authorities accountable to the public.

The Assembly’s failure to hold the MTA to accountable for gigantic subway service problems is baffling given that both Speaker Carl Heastie Authorities Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz are from the Bronx, and their constituents are suffering from the disintegration of subway service.

Reinvent Albany looked at Assembly records dating to 2014 and found zero oversight hearings on the MTA or MTA subway or bus service. InĀ  May 11, 2017, the Assembly looked at the impact of Amtrak emergency construction at Penn Station on LIRR commuters.