Stories & Grievances
NY Metropolitan Transit Authority Continues On It's Path of Keeping NYC Unsafe, User Unfriendly
and the public does not stop them because...
New York City is governed by a consortium of businesses, lawyers, judges and service providers such as major insurance companies, and all campaigns are highly scripted to "convince" the public of anything "they" want. "They" are always successful.
It seems that protection of "their" people as they squander public money is much more important than providing the services and resources to keep New York, safe, as the lawsuit below shows. The New York office of ALSTROM was cited by the SEC for improprieties, and the company moved to another location.
Straphangers and their Straphangers' Campaign are advocating for cleaner, safer, and better subways in New York. When the Metropolitan Transit Authority hid a set of books from the public in order to plead poverty and raise fares, Straphangers sued in Supreme Court to see the books and stop the fare hike, and the MTA got worried, so they brought in Stephan Rachow Kaye and his firm Proskauer Rose to handle the Appeal. The MTA won, and many of us wonder whether or not the judges in the Appellate Division were influenced in any way by the facts that Proskauer Rose is the firm of Michael Cardozo, now Chief Counsel at the Corporation Counsel, and Stephan Rachow Kaye is the husband of New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye.
The Appellate Division decision stopped public scrutiny of the MTA books and gave the ok to the MTA to raise fares. We called the lawyers for Straphangers, and they told us they were not going to pursue this case any further. See:
New York Public Interest Group Straphanger's Campaign, and Roger Toussaint, Respondent, v MTA
and our previous article:
New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority: Why is Service So Bad, and Where's the Money?
MTA OFF TRACK
By RICH CALDER, NY POST
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's much-ballyhooed $212 million counterterrorism plan relies heavily on an "intelligent" surveillance system that was rejected by officials running London's subway system.
After testing in London, transit officials there found the cutting-edge equipment didn't recognize suspicious activity nearly as fast as standard cameras and human observation, said Stuart Ross, a spokesman for the Underground.
Among the equipment slated for New York is so- called "intelligent video cameras" programmed to look for unattended bags.
Ross said London's "station control assistants," monitoring standard closed-circuit TV cameras, actually spotted bags faster than the software could, although Ross said the technology that will be used by the MTA is slightly different.
"We just feel our current procedures work well," he said, adding that his agency will closely watch how the high-tech devices perform here to see if London should follow suit.
London's subways are filled with more cameras, cops and other security staff than New York's, despite covering less ground and serving fewer riders.
And while the extra manpower and cameras couldn't prevent July's terrorist attacks, they did help identify suspects within hours.
"I think the results of how London handled the (terror bombings) show they are pretty well prepared, and to some degree they could say, 'Don't mess with success,' " said Mark Bonatucci, a program director at Lockheed Martin, which won the contract to install the MTA's new security equipment.
"But in the case of the MTA, it is boosting its security system with technology that is more evolved, more state-of-the-art and what's best for its riders."
The MTA last month announced that Lockheed would immediately begin installing more than 1,000 of the high-tech cameras to monitor platforms and over 3,000 motion and intruder sensors to guard its entire subway and commuter system.
By the time the project is complete in 2008, all 468 subway stations will be wired with cameras.
The "integrated electronic security system" is being touted as the first of its kind to incorporate video-recognition software with a satellite-mapping system that could pinpoint the location of an emergency.
London Underground's surveillance system relies on its 6,000 closed-circuit TV cameras on train cars and in subway stations and that number is expected to double by 2010. Nearly all of London's 8,000 buses are also wired with cameras.
By comparison, there are only about 1,000 cameras now monitoring New York subway stations, and none is used on train cars.
The MTA has no current plans to install cameras on trains or buses.
NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum Sued the MTA to provide better services for the disabled in 2001, but evidently nothing has been done by the MTA and Access-a-Ride to improve transportation for the disabled.
Alan Hevesi wants Public Authority Reform in New York State (February 2004)
MTA 5-Year Capital Spending Plan:
Transportation Research Board Directory
Brooklyn Family of Plumbers Bilks NYC MTA Out of $2 Million in Overcharges and Labor Fraud
MTA from Wikipedia