Poll: Majority of NYC Dem voters support city subway and bus takeover

Most Democratic New York City voters want the next mayor to wrest control of the city’s subways and buses from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature, according to a new poll.

The survey — commissioned by the new group New Yorkers for a Better Future — found 63 percent of likely Democratic voters would favor “a plan that would give the next mayor control of the subway and MTA buses.”

Among those in favor, 27 percent said they were “strongly” supportive of the idea, while 36 percent described themselves as “somewhat” supportive, according to the poll conducted May 4 to 9 by Schoen Cooperman Research.

Just 22 percent of poll respondents indicated they opposed the concept, while 15 percent said they were unsure.

The MTA has been a state authority since its inception in 1967. Its leadership is entirely chosen by Gov. Cuomo, who also controls the majority of its board.

That arrangement muddies lines of accountability, with many New Yorkers incorrectly blaming the mayor for delayed trains and other subway service issues.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2019 floated breaking up the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority and transferring city trains and buses to a mayoral-run agency called “Big Apple Transit” — or BAT.

Johnson fundraised for a mayoral run before bowing out last year, and is now running for city comptroller. The remaining mayoral contenders are mixed on his proposal, with some backing more city seats on the MTA board and others completely opposed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo visits the MTA New York City Transit Corona Maintenance Facility to give a media update about the COVID-19 outbreak
Twenty-seven percent said they were “strongly” supportive of the next mayor taking control of subways and buses.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Frontrunner Andrew Yang has made the idea part of his platform, but has come under fire from rivals and transit advocates who say it is economically unfeasible. The poll found Yang was the most popular Democratic contender, 4 points ahead of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein said the poll results were “not surprising given how often Albany plays politics with our public transit system.”

But he warned that the city alone cannot take responsibility for the MTA’s $18 billion annual budget and $55 billion capital improvement plan.

“Ultimately the city faces a heavy financial burden and state leadership is crucial to raise money and to run and fix the subway,” Pearlstein told The Post.

Credit: NYPOST

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