NYC Governor Cuomo Adopts Private “Adoption” Strategy to Fix MTA

Sometimes, you have to think outside the box a little bit if you want solve complicated problems.

Such is the case with New York Governor Cuomo, who is now faced with fixing the myriad problems wit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which he controls.

And, with that, he has announced today a new “Adopt-A-Station” program which will allow for private companies to help cover the exorbitant costs. But how?

To the members of the Association for a Better New York, he lamented, “We have to change our attitude. This is our MTA, right? This is our transit system. We must change our attitude: OUR MTA.”

So, what is he going for, exactly?

He continues, “There has to be an air of civic engagement and participation, investment in the system.”

Obviously, Gov Cuomo is talking about the many repairs that the system needs to cover the costs of infrastructure, upgrades, and more. Only a week ago, he was saying that it is “the city’s legal obligation,” to pay for upgrades to the subway. At the same time, this might be a noble outlook, but the reality is that subway repairs and upgrades are expensive—and they definitely do not want saddle riders with higher and higher fares.

As such, Cuomo has announced that civic groups or private companies can now be a member of the “partnership council” that is in charge of fixing the subway stations. That is, of course, if that group or company pays $250,000 for that membership. At the same time, Cuomo has also invited private sponsors to pay up to $600,000 to “adopt” a station; the price determined by the size and foot traffic of the location.

Those who buy a membership have full control over what they present at the subway station, if they choose. They can keep it clean and simple, of course, if that is their desire, but it might make more sense to take advantage of the foot traffic and install eye-catching advertising or thought-provoking art; still, it might be worthwhile to improve safety in that particular area.

Cuomo concludes: “We’ve done this in the park system—it worked. We’ve done it with historic properties—it worked. Now we should do it with the subway system.”