Bay Ridge

Brannan gains ally in fight for city subway control

June 12, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
If Justin Brannan gets his way, the city’s buses like the B37 will come under the jurisdiction of the city. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Councilmember Daniel Dromm introduces resolution

City Council candidate Justin Brannan’s proposal to have New York City take control over the running of the subways and buses has gained an important ally.

Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) recently introduced a resolution in the City Council calling on New York state to give control of MTA’s subways and buses to the city.

Brannan said the move by Dromm proves that the idea is gaining momentum.

“I applaud Councilmember Dromm for his leadership in righting this wrong against New York commuters,” Brannan said in a statement. “Brooklyn and Queens are united in demanding we put control of our transit network back in the hands of our city government, where it belongs.” 

The move is seen as highly unlikely, given that it would require state legislation to make it happen.

But recent problems plaguing the subway system have given the proposal an added urgency.

Dromm introduced his resolution a day after a power outage on an F train left passengers trapped without air conditioning for nearly an hour. It was the latest incident in a string of outages, derailments and service disruptions in the subway system in recent months.

Brannan’s campaign has issued a white paper calling for the return to city control of MTA’s two city-based subsidiaries. Brannan also proposed introducing a Council resolution to begin the process of what the white paper characterized as a political decision to hand city control of transit over to the state 50 years ago.

Brannan noted in his report that prior to MTA’s creation in 1968, local transportation services were controlled by a variety of city and state-managed agencies, including the current MTA Bus Company and MTA New York City Transit (NYCT), which were city managed from 1953-1968.

Under Brannan’s proposal, the structure of funding transit services through tax dollars, toll revenues from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, and bond issuance would be kept in place.

Brannan, a Democrat who is running for council in the 43rd District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst), predicted that the subways and buses would run better if the city had control.

“Fifty years of state control of the MTA has given us nothing but poor service, political pet projects and upstate lawmakers making decisions about a transportation network they’ve never even set foot in,” Brannan said. 

Brannan has made transit issues a focal point of his campaign. He has been outspoken over what he said is the poor service on the R subway line in Bay Ridge.

Brannan is one of four Democrats running for the Council seat. Kevin Peter Carroll, the Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong are also running in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 12.

The winner of the Democratic Primary will face the winner of the Republican Primary in the Nov. 7 general election. The GOP candidates are Bob Capano, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione.