Already decrepit, the system is literally crumbling before riders’ eyes, neglected for decades while its 5.7 million straphangers are left dealing daily with the fallout.
There have been more than triple the number of subway delays since 2012 — and rider woes are only going to get worse this summer, when Penn Station repairs will force even more commuters onto the subways, where overcrowding and signal issues have become persistent problems.
Experts told The Post on Tuesday that the city must take immediate steps to turn around its beleaguered transit system — adding up to this five-point plan.
Dramatically increase funding to the MTA.
The subway system has suffered from decades of gross underfunding — including under Gov. Cuomo — meaning that expensive but necessary maintenance work hasn’t been getting done.
Robert Paaswell, professor at City College of New York and a former executive director of the Chicago Transit Authority, said a series of governors and state legislators have shortchanged the system since the 1960s.
“We know the current operating budget is far too small to meet all the problems they have,’’ he added.
Under the MTA’s current $32.5 billion, five-year capital plan, less than half that — $14.5 billion — will be spent on the subway system. While New York City allocated $2.5 billion to the capital plan, some say that number should have been doubled. The MTA needs “billions of more dollars” to adequately update the system, as cities such as London have, Paaswell said.
A former transit official noted that other transit systems in the US rely on more government funding, as opposed to fare hikes and taking on debt. The MTA is “spending 17 cents of every dollar on debt service because the state isn’t putting in enough money,’’ said John Raskin of Riders Alliance.
Appoint a permanent leader (or even two) to run the MTA.
When Thomas Prendergast stepped down as MTA chairman…